There’s more than one way to get medicine into your body; the more common ways are swallowing a pill, drinking a syrup/liquid, or getting a shot. Then there are suppositories, where you insert a cone-shaped object into bodily orifices like your anus or your vagina. A common example of a suppository is boric acid.

Boric acid is a weakly acidic hydrate of boric oxide with mild antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties that contains probiotics or “friendly bacteria” (Lactobacilliales), as well as antioxidants like Vitamin C and E. It’s most often used as a homeopathic prescription medicine used to treat vaginal yeast infections and relieve symptoms such as burning, itching, and a distinct “fishy” smell. It’s available in many forms but more popularly as a suppository.

What Does A Boric Acid Suppository Do?

A boric acid suppository works in a different way than a common suppository does. Rather than inserting it in your anal sphincter, it’s a form of medicine intended that’s meant to be inserted in the vagina. These usually come with an applicator to facilitate easier use. 

Suppositories are intended to treat the local area better in lieu of traditional oral medications. Once the suppository is successfully inserted, it dissolves to release the drug once inside the body and travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.

Are There Side Effects From Taking Boric Acid?

After taking a vaginal boric acid suppository, a few might experience the following:

  • Allergic reactions like skin rash, itching, or hives
  • Vaginal irritation, redness, discharges, or burning
  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • Symptoms that go away and come back.

Many other symptoms could also arise over time. If these side effects persist or worsen over time, you should report them to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Have There Been Deaths From Boric Acid Suppositories?

There have been no deaths reported for boric acid suppositories when used as advised.

There have been deaths from the side effects of ingesting boric acid crystals.

*Boric acid suppositories should NEVER be ingested orally.*

Can You Die From Taking Boric Acid Suppositories?

The dangers of boric acid suppositories are limited to a few mild side effects. There is no evidence of serious side effects or deaths that have ever been reported. But we have to keep in mind that boric acid is highly toxic, and consuming it by the mouth, can be potentially deadly. Deaths due to accidental boric acid ingestion have been reported in both children and adults.

Symptoms Of Boric Acid Poisoning

Unfortunately, most boric acid suppositories tend to appear similar to orally-ingested pills, and it’s often the main cause of accidental boric acid intoxication. Patients typically exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bodily tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lethargy/fatigue (feeling weak)
  • Restlessness

How Much Boric Acid Is Fatal?

For years, boric acid was erroneously considered non-toxic, but studies have proven it to be poisonous and even lethal, either by ingestion or after local use. The minimum oral lethal doses of boric acid in humans have been estimated from the said accidental intoxications to be in the range of 5 to 30 g for adults, 3 to 6 g for children, and less than 5 g for infants.

Should you accidentally ingest boric acid and start to exhibit side effects, seek immediate medical attention. 

When To Not Use Boric Acid Suppositories

You should steer clear of boric acid suppositories if you have or are experiencing the following:

  • Pain or tenderness in the pelvis or lower stomach area
  • Fever
  • Chills 
  • Nausea
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Active sexually transmitted disease(s) (HIV, AIDS, etc.)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Allergic reaction/sensitivity to boric acid, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • A weakened immune system (wrought by either disease or through certain medications)
  • Blood vessel disorders
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

While it is unknown whether boric acid can harm an unborn baby or the extent of its danger, you should advise your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant to avoid prescription. 

Similarly, the extent of the effects of vaginal boric acid on breast milk or on a nursing baby is yet to be discovered, so it’s advisable to stop breastfeeding while taking this medicine.

Taking vaginal boric acid suppositories will also not prevent pregnancy and should not be used as a birth control option. Much has been said about its effects on fertility as well, but these need further extensive research to fully establish them. 

As much as possible, avoid having sexual intercourse while you are taking vaginal boric acid, as it will not prevent any sexually transmitted diseases/infections from spreading to your partner. It’s also important to note that this medication will not prevent against, nor is it an antidote to any STD/STI.

Anyone younger than 12 years old should avoid using boric acid suppositories at all costs. Keep your suppositories out of their reach at all times.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

Related Articles

How Long Does It Take For Boric Acid Suppositories To Dissolve?

How Long To Use Boric Acid For BV?

How To Insert Boric Acid Suppositories

Written by