A douche is an aqueous solution directed against a part or into a cavity of the body


A douche is an aqueous solution directed against a part or into a cavity of the body.

Douches are most frequently dispensed in the form of a powder with directions for dissolving in a specified quantity of warm water. If powder or tablets are employed for this purpose, they must be completely soluble in water to produce a clear solution.

Tablets are prepared by simple process but the lubricants and diluents must be soluble in water. For preparation of tablets, boric acid is used as lubricant and sodium chloride is used as a diluent.


Tablets deteriorate on exposure to moist air and should be stored in air tight conatainers. Douches are not official preparation. Some preparations contain alum, zinc sulphate, boric acid, phenol, sodium borate. Some compendia have reported a few substances such as benzylkonium chloride to be used in various douches and compound sodium borate solution in nasal or pharyngeal douche.

Douches are mainly used as

1. Antiseptic (e.g., chlorhexidine, chloroxylenol, lactic acid, mercuric chloride, potassium permanganate etc.)

2. Astringent (e.g., alum, tannic acid, zinc sulphate, etc.)


3. Cleaning (e.g., sodium chloride, boric acid, saponated cresol, etc)

4. Soothing action

Classification of Douches

Eye douches: It is used to remove foreign particles and discharges from the eyes use allowed to run from the inner to the outer cornea of the eye.

1. Nasal douches: It is used to cleanse nose by using bulb syringes.


2. Pharyngeal douches: It is used in infection of throat for an operation.

3. Vaginal douches: It is used for irrigation of the vagina by using 8-10 oz capacity bulb syringes with a large vulcanite or rubber spray tube.

4. Rectum douches: It is meant for irrigation of rectum using rectal syringe of the bulb type with a long narrow nozzle.



It is dispensed in colored fluted bottles or single use plastic packs with rectal nozzles for enema.


Comply with the general requirement of the label and additional information should be mentioned clearly on the label -‘For external use only’, ‘For nasal use Only’ or ‘For vaginal use Only’ or ‘For rectal use Only’

Example: Prepare and dispense Potassium Permanganate Douche


Potassium permanganate 0.1 g

Purified water, sufficient to produce 100.0 ml

Method of Dispensing:

Triturate weighed amount of potassium permanganate with purified water in a pestle mortar. Allow undissolved crystals to settle and pour the supernatant into a conical flask. Filter through a clean sintered glass filter and make up the volume through filter.

Example: Prepare and dispense Astringent Douche

Alum O.lg

Zinc sulphate 0.5 g

Liquefied phenol 0.6 ml

Glycerin 12.5 ml

Purified water, sufficient to produce 100.0 ml

Method of Dispensing:

Mixed weighed amount of alum with purified water, add zinc sulphate and dissolve and gradually add liquefied phenol and glycerin and shake.

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