Doctor insights on:
Is It Safe To Use Stool Softeners Regularly
Yes: As long as you are using only stool softeners (docusate) and not laxatives, you are safe using them every day, especially if stool is hard. ...Read more
Change in bowels?: Stool sofeners (colace) moisten & soften hard, dry stools whereas fiber supplements (metamucil) buks stool due to both water-holding & increased bacterial mass due to fiber digestion. Both products assume normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or instrinsic obstruction. Change in bowels is a "red flag", like weight loss or blood in stool, that needs evaluation if persistent. ...Read more
Try miralax (polyethylene glycol): The truth is that stool softeners work when used here and there. If used regularly, they loose their potency and become ineffective. For regular relief MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol) is far superior. It is a white powder mixed in a liquid of choice that can be used regularly, has virtually no taste, and is not habit forming. One caveat-if you have had a change in your bowel habits, see your doctor. ...Read more
Long time: Stool softeners can be taken safely for a long period of time, however, this should not lull you to believe that your problem may be a benign one. There are different causes of constipation and you may need to either describe your problem in greater detail or see your doctor to figure out why you are constipated. ...Read more
Sure, but...: Docusate (per pdr) helps moisten & soften hard, dry stools. It is not a true laxative, but facilitates natural defecation, usually within 12 to 72 hours. This is safe & available for anyone over 2, & assumes normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or intrinsic obstruction. Change in baseline bowel habits however warrants evaluation rather than indefinite otc treatment. ...Read more
Yes but: Quite a few over the counter (otc) preps contain both elements. As with most otc medications, temporary use to relieve symptoms are usually fine. Habitual or prolonged use is unwise as you maybe masking something more serious. Don't wait till it becomes a serious problem. ...Read more
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