Diltiazem ointment: An effective anal fissure treatment

Anal fissures are small tears in the thin inner lining of your rectum.

They’re usually the result of trauma caused by abnormal bowel movements, including stool that is too large, hard or dry. They can also be caused by poop that is too loose and frequent (diarrhoea) or by excessive strain and pushing during pregnancy and birth.

Rather than deal with the discomfort, there are anal fissure treatments you can use at home. One of the most effective we recommend is diltiazem.

What are the signs and symptoms of anal fissures?

The most commonly identified symptom of anal fissures is a feeling of sharp pain that begins during bowel movements – a discomfort that can continue for several hours in more severe cases.

You may also notice bright red blood on your stool or toilet paper when you wipe. If the blood is in your stool and darker in colour, we recommend you make an appointment with your doctor to rule out anything more serious.

Many people avoid having bowel movements to prevent further pain, but this isn’t sustainable and can lead to additional problems, including constipation.

What is the best anal fissure treatment?

Anal fissure treatment depends largely on the cause and severity of the symptoms. In chronic cases, surgery may be necessary to help relax the anal sphincter muscles.

To treat anal fissures, doctors usually recommend some dietary and lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating a high fibre diet rich in fruit, veg, wholegrains and legumes
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Avoiding foods that cause constipation, such as white grains, red meat, milk and dairy products and alcohol
  • Undertaking regular exercise, such as walking or running
  • Taking an over-the-counter stool softener

You can also treat the pain and promote healing with anal fissure ointments, including diltiazem.

How diltiazem ointment works

Diltiazem is often prescribed for hypertension, but GPs and colorectal surgeons also prescribe diltiazem-ointment for anal fissures.

When applied directly to the skin around the anus, anal fissure ointments, including diltiazem, can provide immediate relief from the pain as it’s absorbed into the affected area. They can also promote healing.

Diltiazem works by relaxing the anal sphincter, which alleviates pain and allows stool to pass more easily. This medication also promotes blood flow, which aids in the healing process.

We compound a protective diltiazem 2% ointment for the treatment of anal fissures. This can be combined with a local anaesthetic for pain control.

How to use diltiazem ointment

To use diltiazem, simply apply a pea-sized drop of the ointment to the skin just inside the anus three times per day or as often as directed by your doctor.

Depending on the severity of your anal fissure, it may take several weeks of treatment for the fissure to heal. Signs of a fissure healing include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Less or no blood on your stools or when you wipe

However, the only way healing can be confirmed is through a physical examination performed by your GP.

You should continue to use diltiazem ointment for the entire prescribed treatment period, which can be up to three months or more, as directed.

Soothe painful stools today

For more information about treating anal fissures with diltiazem ointment, please contact our friendly pharmacists at Amber Compounding Pharmacy today.