The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 11–20 | Cite as

Salicylate absorption patterns: A comparison between rectal and oral administration

  • Ann Morgan
  • Edward B. Truitt
  • Gunther H. Frey

Summary and conclusions

Serum salicylate levels of 40 subjects who had received 0.65 gm. of aspirin both orally (aspirin tablets) and rectally (cacao-butter-aspirin suppositories) were compared at 0, 10, 20, 40, 60, 120, 180, and 240 min. At all times, the oral route provided significantly higher blood salicylate levels (p=<0.001) than the rectal route.

Two groups of mongrel dogs (16 total) were observed for rectal mucosal irritation after prolonged administration of both cacao-butter- and Carbowax-base aspirin suppositories. The 12 dogs that received the aspirin suppositories of either base all showed signs of mucosal irritation ranging from hyperemia to hemorrhagic ulcerative lesions, perforation, and death.

It was concluded: (1) that aspirin is poorly absorbed through the rectal mucosa; (2) that prolonged rectal administration of aspirin suppositories may be potentially hazardous; and (3) that additional studies to evaluate the extent of irritation and ulcerative hemorrhagic lesions in the human rectum following repeated administrations of aspirin suppositories seem to be indicated.


Aspirin Perforation Salicylate Repeated Administration Rectal Mucosa 
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Copyright information

© Paul B. Hoeber, Inc. 1961

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Morgan
    • 1
  • Edward B. Truitt
    • 1
  • Gunther H. Frey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimore
  2. 2.Monmouth Junction

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