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Preparation H For Hemorrhoids

Preparation H is primarily used as a temporary treatment to acquire immediate relief from the symptoms associated with hemorrhoidal flair-ups. Preparation H is not indicated for prolonged use, and does not treat the underlying causes of hemorrhoids, nor is it useful as a preventative medication. Because of the nature of the relief that Preparation H provides, it is necessary to understand and be able to weigh its benefits and its limitations.

This article will provide information about Preparation H and the pros and cons of choosing it over other available medications. As a consumer and one who may suffer from hemorrhoids, it is important to understand exactly how Preparation H works on the body, how it provides relief, what are its strengths, in addition to understanding what alternative remedies are available to stop hemorrhoidal symptoms.

Preparation H was first introduced for public use in about 1926. It was produced by a now defunct enterprise that in time became the Wyeth Company (now Pfizer) . Preparation H comes in several different formulations, including anal wipes, creams, gels, and suppositories.The objective of all of these remedies is to temporarily reduce the swelling, pain, and itching that is caused by hemorrhoids.

Preparation H uses a main ingredient which is a chemical called phenylephrine . Phenylephrine acts as a vasoconstrictor and reduces blood flow to the veins of the hemorrhoid, thus minimizing hemorrhoidal symptoms . Because the chemical phenylephrine acts on blood vessels in other parts of the body in the same manner it does the veins in the rectum, it is also used as an ingredient in other remedies such as decongestants and cold medications, by lessening blood flow to veins in the sinuses. Preparation H also employs ingredients such as coco butter and starch, in addition to zinc oxide, which create a protective lining between the irritated wall of the anus and the stool passing through. The protection aids in keeping the swollen tissue from becoming more inflamed and can also reduce the pain that occurs during bowel movements.

Preparation H is meant to be externally applied to the rectal area, and is only made for use in the anus. It should not be used if bleeding is present or the anus is too raw or overly irritated. Because of the nature of how it works on the body, Preparation H is not appropriate for use beyond a limited and fixed duration and should not be used if one’s hemorrhoidal condition does not improve within approximately 6 to 7 days.

Preparation H’s main strength is its ability to provide immediate relief from hemorrhoidal pain, itching, and burning. However, because its active ingredient, phenylephrine, only works for a short period of time, Preparation H’s weakness is that it does not provide long-term relief, nor is it an effective medication for prevention. To ensure long-term relief, and to comprehensively treat hemorrhoid causes and symptoms, many other factors need to be considered that are not addressed by Preparation H.

written by David Gilbert

© 2009 Hemorrhoid Information Center


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