font size


Laxatives for Constipation

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Laxatives for constipation facts

  • Constipation is infrequent bowel movements that may be painful or difficult with hard stool.
  • Common causes of constipation include diets low in fiber, medications, prior surgeries, and certain medical conditions.
  • A doctor should be consulted for constipation if it is severe, it does not respond to home treatment, is accompanied by bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, or pregnancy.
  • Non-drug measures for constipation include adding fiber to the diet, increasing fluids, and regular exercise.
  • Foods that increase fiber in the diet are helpful in treating mild cases of constipation. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
  • Over-the-counter preparations for constipation include bulk-forming laxatives, stool softeners, lubricant laxatives, stimulant laxatives, saline laxatives enemas, osmotic-type laxatives, and suppositories.
  • There is concern that over-use of laxatives, especially the stimulant laxatives, may have a deleterious effect on the colon and make the constipation worse.
  • Children and infants usually can benefit from dietary modification to help relieve constipation.
  • Constipation in pregnancy can often be remedied with dietary changes and exercise. Individuals should consult their physicians before using laxatives or stool softeners.

What is constipation?

Constipation is a condition that is characterized by infrequent bowel movements that are painful or difficult, or stools that are hard in consistency. Infrequent bowel movements alone are not a reliable indicator of constipation because bowel frequency can vary between three times a day to once a week among normal individuals. Hard stools that are difficult to pass or infrequent stools accompanied by abdominal pain, back pain, and abdominal bloating define constipation.


Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Constipation - Natural Remedies Question: Please share any natural remedies you've tried for constipation. What works, and what doesn't?
Constipation - Possible Causes Question: What do you believe is the cause of your constipation? Please describe your experience.
Constipation - OTC Treatments Question: Have you tried over-the-counter treatments for constipation? In your opinion, what works, and what doesn't?
Constipation - Seeing a Doctor Question: Why did you go to a doctor for your constipation? What types of tests or exams were included during your visit?
Constipation - Children Question: What do you do when your baby or child is constipated? Please share your experience with treating constipation in kids.
Constipation - Pregnancy Question: Were you constipation during your pregnancy? What lifestyle changes or natural remedies helped relieve symptoms?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/laxatives_for_constipation/article.htm

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations