Over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments include a variety of products like creams, pads, and suppositories. These products contain medications like hydrocortisone, witch hazel, or numbing agents to relieve pain and itching. Oral pain relievers like Tylenol and Advil can also help treat hemorrhoid symptoms. Some important over the counter medications for hemorrhoidal treatment may include the following:
Protectants are over the counter hemorrhoid creams, which help hemorrhoids as they form a protective layer over the delicate tissue and protect them from excessive drying and irritation. This protective layer helps the tissue to heal. Protectant is often found in most hemorrhoidal preparations as zinc oxide, mineral oil, or starch. Protectants may include:
- TUCKS Topical Starch Hemorrhoidal Suppositories (starch)
- Desitin (zinc oxide)
- Mineral oil
Constricting medications or vasoconstrictors tighten blood vessels and help shrink tissues. Phenylephrine is a common vasoconstrictor used in hemorrhoidal preparations, such as:
- Medicone Hemorrhoidal Suppositories.
- Preparation H Ointment and Preparation H Suppositories.
- Tronolane Anesthetic Hemorrhoid Suppositories.
Hydrocortisone is a steroid that helps reduce the itching associated with hemorrhoids temporarily. Over-the-counter piles medications that contain a low dose of hydrocortisone may include:
- Cortizone-10 Anal Itch Cream.
- Preparation H Anti-Itch Cream Hydrocortisone.
- TUCKS Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Ointment.
These over the counter medicines for piles are used to temporarily numb the nerves of the affected area and provide some relief in the itching and pain. Some numbing products include:
- Americaine Hemorrhoidal Ointment (benzocaine).
- Lanacane (benzocaine).
- Medicone Hemorrhoidal Ointment (benzocaine).
- Nupercainal (dibucaine).
- Tronolane Anesthetic Hemorrhoid Cream (pramoxine).
- TUCKS Hemorrhoidal Ointment (pramoxine).
Witch hazel is another over the counter medicine for hemorrhoids. It is an astringent that :
- Shrinks blood vessels and exposed tissues
- Promotes drying
- Temporarily soothes itchy hemorrhoids that often cause burning.
Witch hazel is a common, natural ingredient that is generally found in some wipes, moist pads, etc. It can used for gentle, soothing cleansing after bowel movements. Products containing witch hazel include:
Preparation H Medicated Wipes
- TUCKS Medicated Pads
- Combination Products
Some otc hemorrhoid treatments contain different medications that work together effectively to reduce the pain, irritation, itching, burning, and swelling of hemorrhoids and ease the process of stool passing. Some over the counter combination products include:
Preparation H Cooling Gel
This gel contains the vasoconstrictor phenylephrine and the astringent witch hazel.
Preparation H Cream with Maximum Strength Pain Relief
This combination product contains the vasoconstrictor phenylephrine, the anesthetic pramoxine, and protectants.
These OTC medicines for hemorrhoids provide instant comfort to the patient by reducing inflammation and pain. These medications include:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Aspirin (Ascriptin, Bayer)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Fiber is considered very important in the treatment of hemorrhoids. It works by adding bulk to the stool, making stool passing easy with less straining, and providing relief in irritation and itching. Doctors recommend fiber-rich foods to the patient with hemorrhoids. It is mainly found in beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain bread and cereals.
A high-fiber diet is a healthy, natural, long-term way to prevent and reduce hemorrhoids symptoms. It is not always possible to get enough fiber through diets. For such instances, a variety of fiber supplements are available over-the-counter, including:
- FiberCon (Calcium polycarbophil)
- Citrucel (Methylcellulose)
- Konsyl, Metamucil (Psyllium)
- Benefiber (wheat dextrin)
Drinking atleast 8 glasses of water daily provides the necessary fluid for dietary fiber to do its job.