Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Isopropyl Alcohol and anal douching
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Isopropyl Alcohol and anal douching


  I have a gay friend who is very important to me.....He is using 70% isopropyl alcohol for anal cleansing it acts fairly rapidly as an enema for him.  It makes him a little light headed and sometimes causes abdominal pains and/or a general feeling of malaise. He recently complained of pains under his rib cage on his left side....Please let me know if this could be causing damage to him and what damage it would cause. Thanks
Dear John/Aaron,
Isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol. On an equal dose basis it is more toxic than ethanol (alcohol in wine or beer). It can cause toxicity by ingestion or inhalation, but it is not absorbed through the skin. In addition to the effects similar to ethanol, it can cause inflammation of the stomach and bleeding; low blood pressure; kidney and muscle dysfunction; liver toxicity and breath with a sweet odor. I suspect that taking isopropyl alcohol rectally would cause some of it to be absorbed into the general circulation. I would discourage your friend from continuing this practice. I hope you find this information helpful.
This information is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568, our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
HFHSM.D.-ym
*Keywords: isopropyl alcohol, rectal administration
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