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Mini Enema Explained

Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in primary, acute, and long-term care settings in the United States. An estimated 42 million individuals in the United States have bowel issues or constipation. And an estimated 1 million have incontinence.

For people with conditions that can require a regular bowel care program, such as spinal cord injury, Spina Bifida, and Traumatic Brain Injury. A systematic approach to bowel management is recommended to prevent further health complications and maximize quality of life. With these conditions, and others, the product used for regular bowel care must work quickly, effectively, and with little to no side effects.

There are a lot of different products available, and knowing which one is right can be confusing. Which product works best for your particular situation? What are the potential risks and side effects of each one? In this article we summarize the different types of enemas available, how they work, the pros and cons of each one, and this can help you decide which product is right for you. It’s important to note that you should always consult a physician before using any constipation medication.

About Enemas

While most people have a general idea of what an enema is, there are widespread misunderstandings about the different types of enemas and how they work. Enemas are used to relieve constipation that occurs when a person has infrequent bowel movements or difficulty emptying the bowels fully. When used regularly, the best time to do an enema is right before your normal bowel movement. Or right after having a bowel movement depending on why you are using the enema.

For people who are unable to have bowel movements due to illness or injury, there is more at stake. In these cases it is essential to have a product that fully evacuates the bowel, is easy to use on a daily basis, is fast-acting so bowel care doesn’t impede independence, and doesn’t cause potentially harmful side effects.

Most commonly, enemas are used to relieve constipation and impacted stool. For people with bowel dysfunction, enemas help treat fecal incontinence as well as constipation. Each enema works differently in the body, and treats different conditions. Some are better for short term use and/or medical procedures, while others are designed for ongoing bowel care and management.

Things to Consider When Using Enema Products

It’s important to understand the side-effects of enema products, especially for regular use. Many enema products can cause bowel irritation, systemic health problems, skin irritation and breakdown, afterburn, and/or gastrointestinal distress.

Mini-Enemas vs. Full-Sized Enemas

 Mini-Enemas: A “mini-enema” uses only a few drops of liquid stool softener. Not irritating to the bowel, and will not cause AD or afterburn. A mini-enema is ideal for regular use.

Enemeez® Mini-Enema: is a 5 cc mini enema containing an osmotic laxative called docusate sodium. Mini-Enemas Enemeez® allow quick absorption, typically work within 2-15 minutes, and help establish a more predictable bowel routine. Enemeez® Mini-Enemas come in a single use tube that contains docusate sodium and a medicinal soft soap base of polyethylene glycol and glycerine.

The active ingredient, docusate sodium, works by drawing water into the bowel from surrounding tissues and mixing with the stool to create watery bowel movements. The increased mass of stool stimulates the nerve endings in the rectum to promote bowel evacuation. Enemeez® mini-enemas are the only product on the market for daily use bowel care management.

Enemeez® Plus Mini-Enema: works the same way as Enemeez® Mini-Enema, and has the addition of 20 mg of Benzocaine. Which is non irritating for patients who experience pain with enema use. Or patients who suffer from autonomic dysreflexia with bowel movements. It is ideal for patients with spinal cord injuries or those suffering from cerebral vascular injuries. It also reduces pain for people with hemorrhoids.

Enemeez® mini-enema products have shown to be effective for bowel care needs associated with spinal cord injury, or disease and general constipation. Enemeez® products are designed for ease of use for users and caregivers, and are a trusted and preferred choice because they effectively remove bowel obstructions with a small amount of solution. They are also preferred because of their smooth applicator tip that prevents irritation and is easy to use.

Mini-Enemas and Skin Integrity

With regular use of any enema product it’s important to consider skin integrity to avoid skin breakdown that can lead to other harmful (and painful) conditions. Enemeez® mini-enemas are non-irritating to the skin and keep skin healthy even with regular use.

Types of Enemas

  • Full-Size Enemas: Any full-size enema (such as soap suds or tap water) can irritate the bowel and can potentially cause autonomic dysreflexia (AD), which is a condition in which your involuntary nervous system overreacts to external or bodily stimuli. AD can cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure and changes in your body’s autonomic functions. Occasionally, a health care provider may prescribe a full-size enema in preparation for a medical procedure or for treatment of severe constipation.
  • Saline Solution Enemas: provide a soft stool mass and increased bowel action that leads to a bowel movement. For minor constipation, just water or saline solution can be enough to get relief. It is often employed as a one-time use to cleanse the bowel before a rectal exam. Side effects include mild abdominal discomfort, cramps, gas, and dehydration and as such are not recommended for regular use.
  • Mineral Oil Enemas: lubricates and coats the stool to prevent water from being absorbed out of the stool, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. Mineral oil enemas work well for people who need to avoid straining after surgery or giving birth, but is not considered ideal for regular use. More common side effects of mineral oil enemas include bloating, gas, mild diarrhea, and stomach cramps. These side effects do not make it effective for regular use.
  • Bisacodyl Enemas: uses the laxative bisacodyl to stimulate bowel movements, can irritate the bowel, and should only be considered for short-term use. The side effects of bisacodyl enemas include rectal irritation/burning/itching, mild abdominal discomfort, cramps, and/or nausea.
  • Bisacodyl Enemas and Skin Integrity: due to the common side effects caused by bisacodyl enemas (both internally and externally) they are not recommended for regular use as they can cause skin irritation/breakdown.

Which Enema Product is Right for You?

Before making any decision about how to treat constipation, it’s important to consult with a physician to decide which product is right for you. Deciding which product to choose depends primarily on whether it is intended for short-term or regular use. The side effects of many constipation medications make them less than ideal for regular use. So it’s important to determine what your specific needs are before using any constipation medication.

 

 

Disclaimer: The material contained is for reference purposes only. Alliance Labs, LLC and Summit Pharmaceuticals do not assume responsibility for patient care. Consult a physician prior to use. Copyright 2020 Summit Pharmaceuticals and Alliance Labs, LLC.

 

Sources:

http://sci.washington.edu/info/pamphlets/bowels_2.asp
https://www.medicinenet.com/laxatives_for_constipation/article.htm
https://www.healthline.com/health/constipation/stool-softeners-laxatives#pharmacists-advice
https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-8621-2109/bisacodyl-rectal/bisacodyl-enema-rectal/details