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What laxatives can you use for constipation?

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Laxatives come in several forms:

  • Bulk-forming laxatives include Citrucel, FiberCon, and Metamucil. Unlike other laxatives, you can take these every day, because they're essentially just fiber supplements that make the stool bigger and softer. Although they are safe to use regularly, bulk-forming laxatives can interfere with your body's ability to absorb certain medicines, and they may cause bloating, cramps, and gas. Drink a lot of water when you take bulk laxatives.
  • Lubricant laxatives, including Fleet and Zymenol, coat the stool to make it slippery, so it can pass more easily through the colon.
  • Osmotic laxatives such as Cehulac, Miralax, and Sorbitol help fluids move through your intestines. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor before taking osmotics because they can cause electrolyte imbalances.
  • Saline laxatives pull extra water into the stool. Common brand names include Milk of Magnesia and Haley's M-O.
  • Stimulant laxatives such as Correctol, Dulcolax, and Senekot, make the muscles in your intestines contract to help push stool out. These laxatives work quickly, but they can cause side effects, including cramping and diarrhea, so use them for as short a period of time as possible.
  • Stool softeners such as Colace and Surfak make stools easier to pass by adding fluid to them. Having softer stool can prevent you from having to strain during bowel movements. Your doctor may recommend one of these products if your constipation is due to childbirth or surgery.

From: Constipation Relief Guide WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): "Constipation."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Understanding Constipation."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Constipation."

Feldman M. , 9 ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2010. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseaseth

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Laxatives: OTC Products for Constipation."

Legato MJ. . Academic Press, 2009. Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, Volume 1

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 9, 2019

SOURCES:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): "Constipation."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Understanding Constipation."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Constipation."

Feldman M. , 9 ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2010. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseaseth

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Laxatives: OTC Products for Constipation."

Legato MJ. . Academic Press, 2009. Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, Volume 1

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 9, 2019

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What is the best way to relieve constipation?

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