The effect of sucralfate-containing ointment on quality of life in people with symptoms associated with haemorrhoidal disease and its complications: the results of the EMOCARE survey

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Corrado Giua
Luigi Minerba
Antonio Piras
Nicolina Floris
Flora Romano


clinical pharmacist, community pharmacy, haemorrhoidal disease, minor disease, quality of life, sucralfate ointment


Background and aim: A rectal ointment containing 3% of sucralfate and herbal extracts (calendula, witch hazel leaf (hamamelis), chamomile), became available in Italy in 2019 for the treatment of symptoms associated with haemorrhoidal disease. This survey evaluated the effect of the mentioned sucralfate ointment, on quality of life (QoL) and symptom frequency in participants seeking treatment for haemorrhoidal disease from community pharmacies in Italy.

Methods: EMOCARE was a multicentre prospective survey conducted at community pharmacies in Italy. Eligible participants (≥18 years) were those with haemorrhoidal symptoms in the last 7 days and were willing to initiate a treatment with the sucralfate ointment and herbal extracts (calendula, witch hazel leaf (hamamelis), chamomile). A survey was administered by the investigating pharmacists at the beginning and end (~14 days) of treatment. The primary endpoint was the change in HEMO-FISS-QoL scores.

Results: Of the 290 (mean age 53.1 years old; 58.3% female) enrolled, 287 attended the follow-up visit. After a mean duration of 13 days, the sucralfate ointment significantly improved total HEMO-FISS-QoL scores (mean change from baseline: –10.41; 95%CI –11.95, –8.86; P<0.001) and mean scores for all domains of the HEMO-FISS-QoL scale (–11.13 [95%CI –12.95, –9.30] for physical disorders, –6.14 [95%CI –7.42, –4.85] for psychology, –18.79 [95% CI –21.67, –15.90] for defaecation, and –6.46 [95%CI –8.40, –4.51] for sexuality; all P<0.001 versus baseline). At the end of treatment, 39.4% of participants reported that they no longer had haemorrhoidal symptoms and the frequency of all assessed symptoms were reduced significantly from baseline (all P<0.05).

Conclusions: After a mean 13 days of treatment  the sucralfate ointment with herbal extracts improved HEMO-FISS-QoL scores and reduced symptoms in people with haemorrhoidal disease.


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