How to Use Vaginal Tablets, Suppositories, and Creams

Using Vaginal Tablets, Suppositories, and Creams

  • It is best to use these products just before your bedtime. Lying down will reduce leakage of the medication from your vagina that could possibly occur while standing or walking around.

  • Wash your vaginal area with a mild soap and water and dry thoroughly.

  • (If the product comes as a pre-filled applicator, skip to step 4.)

    For vaginal cream products: Attach the applicator to the opening of the tube of cream and twist until firmly attached. Squeeze the cream from the tube into the applicator until it reaches the level indicated for your dose. Twist and remove the applicator from the tube.

    For tablets or suppositories: Remove the medication from the wrapper and place it into the end of the applicator.

  • Gently insert the applicator into your vagina while you position your body in one of the two ways shown in the drawing. You can stand with your feet apart and your knees bent (figure A) or lie on your back with your knees bent and legs slightly apart (figure B). Insert the applicator only as far as it will comfortably go.

  • Push the plunger of the applicator until it stops.

  • Remove the applicator from the vagina.

  • If the applicator is reusable, clean it as directed by the manufacturer. This usually involves pulling the two pieces apart and washing them with a mild soap and water. Discard the applicator if it is disposable.

  • Continue to use the medication for as long as directed by your doctor or on the product labeling. Use the product without skipping any days, even during your menstrual period. You should use sanitary pads if you have your period while using this medication. Do not use tampons as they can absorb some of the medication and make your treatment less effective.

This report on medications is for your information only, and is not considered individual patient advice. Because of the changing nature of drug information, please consult your physician or pharmacist about specific clinical use.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. represents that the information provided hereunder was formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information and specifically disclaims all such warranties. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate health care professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses and side effects. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. The information is not a substitute for medical care.

AHFS ® Patient Medication Information™. © Copyright, 2023. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists ® , 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.