Nonprescription Medicines and Products - Bulking Agents, Stool Softeners, and Laxatives
are four types of products used to prevent or treat constipation: bulking
agents, stool softeners, osmotic laxatives, and stimulant laxatives.
Bulking agents, such as bran or psyllium (found in Metamucil, for example) ease
constipation by increasing the volume of stool and making it easier to pass.
Regular use of bulking agents is safe and helps make them more
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a 3 1/2-inch-long tube of tissue that extends from the large intestine. The appendix contains specialized tissue that can produce antibodies, but no one is absolutely certain what its function is. One thing we do know: We can live without it, without apparent consequences.
Appendicitis is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. Left untreated, an inflamed appendix may eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infection...
Stool softeners (such as Colace
and Docusate Calcium) soften the stool, making it easier to pass. Stool
softeners can be most effective if you drink plenty of water throughout the
Osmotic laxatives, such as Fleet Phospho-Soda, Milk of Magnesia, or Miralax, and nonabsorbable sugars (such as lactulose or sorbitol), hold fluids in the intestine. They also draw fluids into the intestine from other tissue and blood vessels. This extra fluid in the intestines makes the stool softer and easier to pass. Drink plenty of water when you use this type of laxative.
Stimulant laxatives (such as Correctol, Ex-Lax, and Senokot) make stool move faster through the intestines by irritating the lining of the intestines. Regular use of stimulant laxatives is not recommended. Stimulant laxatives change the tone and feeling in the large intestine, and you can become dependent on using laxatives all the time to have a bowel movement.
Take any laxative or bulking agent with plenty
of water or other liquids.
Do not take laxatives regularly. They change the tone and feeling in the large intestine. And you can become dependent on using them all the time to have a bowel movement. If you need help having regular bowel movements, use a
Regular use of laxatives may change your body's ability to absorb
vitamin D and
calcium. This can lead to weakened bones.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 05, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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