Prescription Medications for Hemorrhoids: What You Need To Know

Hemorrhoidal medication prescribed by doctors remains the safest and most effective treatment for the condition. 

However, medical professionals do not simply hand out stuff from their shelves randomly. Factors like your symptoms, severity of the condition, medical history, and even your lifestyle come into play. 

As a former hemorrhoidal patient who has tried every possible prescription, here’s what I’ve learnt and what you should know. 

How Prescription Medications Can Help Manage Hemorrhoids

For starters, let’s dispel the doubt that prescription meds for hemorrhoids are simply pharmaceutical companies marketing their products. While that’s partly true, many of these medications have the potential to rid you of annoying symptoms and promote faster recovery. 

In the majority of cases, treating hemorrhoids involves fighting the symptoms and effects. The condition itself may need surgically invasive procedures to go away completely in some people. In others, correct and consistent self-care and medically advised products work wonders. 

We all know how uncomfortable and unpleasant hemorrhoidal conditions can get. Symptoms may include general discomfort or irritation in the affected area. In more severe hemorrhoidal cases, you may experience bleeding or increased pain in the rectal and anal area. 

Prescription medicines for hemorrhoids come with ingredients that address each of these pressing symptoms. Most meds will come with combinations of ingredients that all play a part in providing comfort, especially when symptoms flare up. 

For instance, a specific hemorrhoidal ointment may contain analgesic properties. Others may come with anesthetic qualities. These creams help provide relief from the ongoing pain and discomfort. Some prescription items have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe swollen veins and lessen discomfort. 

Most hemorrhoidal meds prescribed by doctors come with a combination of these properties. Applied correctly, they help you manage and reduce the unpleasant effects of hemorrhoids. 

Common Hemorrhoid Medications Your Doctor Might Prescribe

Medicines and treatments for hemorrhoids vary depending on the type and severity of your condition. However, in most cases, your doctor may prescribe one of these treatments or products to help alleviate the effects. 

1. Anesthetic Creams and Ointments

Products that contain Lidocaine or Benzocaine are excellent examples of anesthetic products recommended for hemorrhoids. As already described, these medications work by reducing the pain or numbing the affected area to bring down the physical sensation of pain. 


Corticosteroids work by fighting the inflammation commonly associated with hemorrhoids. Hydrocortisone products like Anusol cream are generally prescribed in this category. 

3. Protectants

Protectants make up a class of medications that are both prescribed or available over the counter. They include common products like petroleum jelly or other prescription-based creams that contain glycerin or zinc oxide. Protectants prevent the worsening of the tissues or the spreading of the condition when your hemorrhoids start acting up. 

4. Stool Softeners

Stool softeners help ease bowel movement by reducing the hardness of stools. They become easier to pass through your system and prevent constipation or aggravation of the swollen veins. 

5. Oral Medication

When creams and ointments don’t work, doctors may advise stronger pain relievers that are taken orally. These prescriptions may include anti-inflammatory medication or drugs designed to relieve hemorrhoidal pain. 

The Right Way to Use Prescription Medications for Hemorrhoids

Getting the prescribed medication is one step to beating hemorrhoids. But the real effect depends on correct use. 

Here’s a handy step-by-step application guide that explains how best to use hemorrhoidal creams and ointments. 

  • Step 1: Wash your hands to ensure they’re sanitized and clean enough to touch the affected area. 
  • Step 2: Break open the seal and squeeze a small pea-sized portion of the cream on your dominant hand’s fingertips. 
  • Step 3: Gently apply and skim the cream over the affected area. 
  • Step 4: Try to remain still for 10 minutes or so to let the medication settle down and take effect. 

Some hemorrhoidal ointments come with an applicator tip. You can insert the tip into the anus and squeeze the tube to let the medication flow out into the affected area. 

Protectants like petroleum jelly come with more flexible prescriptions. In most instances, you can use them several times a day and especially after bowel movements. 

Oral medications like anti-inflammatory drugs or stool softeners come with recommended doses. Follow our doctor’s advice on how to ingest or how often to take the medication. 

Potential Side Effects and Risks of Prescription Medications

Prescription medications for hemorrhoids are normally stronger and more potent than over-the-counter solutions. So, they’re also more likely to cause other side effects if they don’t suit you or your body.  

  • Allergy is a common worry for most people when they take prescription meds of any type. Rashes or difficulty breathing are common symptoms of allergies acting up to your medication. 
  • There are other skin irritations that may appear as a result of the medication. Stop using these ointments if you experience itchiness, redness, or other similar effects. 
  • There are cases where anti-inflammatory medication can worsen the swelling instead of curing it. Although rare, you should cease the dosage and contact your doctor immediately.
  • Oral medication may cause irregular bowel movements that aggravate your hemorrhoids rather than cure them. 
  • Strong ointments like cortisteroids may cause your skin to become thinner or weaker. 

Note that most of these side effects remain very rare or easy to manage. So, remain calm and consult your doctor on how to proceed if you do face anything similar. 

Generally, correct usage and following your doctor’s dosage advice will prevent these unpleasant effects of the prescription medication. 

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Hemorrhoid Medications

Honest communication is key when you’re talking about your hemorrhoids to your doctor. Medical professionals will conduct relevant tests and perform examinations to check the severity of your hemorrhoids. But ultimately, they rely greatly on the patient’s symptomatic experience and history for correct diagnosis. 

Also, being upfront about your allergies and reactions to other medications will help. There’s less likelihood of receiving an ill-advised drug when your doctor knows what did not suit you in the past. 

Carry copies of health conditions you’ve had in the past. Alternatively, you can explain verbally if you’ve undergone any procedures or diagnoses before developing hemorrhoids. 

About the author

As the author of this website, I have firsthand experience with hemorrhoids and want to share what works and what doesn't when it comes to treating this condition. I hope to offer my experience and support to others struggling with hemorrhoids, and provide helpful tips to live a pain-free life.