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Doctor insights on: Stool Softeners Medication

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My daughter, 14 months is constipated despite giving her fluids. Used stool softener for a month. If I stop medication, she is constipated again.

My daughter, 14 months is constipated despite giving her fluids. Used stool softener for a month. If I stop medication, she is constipated again.

Constipation: 3 important facts: 1 did she pass meconium or the dark sticky stool in the 1st day of life? 2 did this start when you transitioned her from formula to whole milk? 3 are you attempting potty training if the answer to all 3 is yes then this is likely transient and will pass with time. I would continue the stool softener and hold off on potty training for now. Wean the stool softener. ...Read more

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Dr. Ana Adelstein
405 doctors shared insights

Stool Softener (Definition)

Stool softeners are medications that relieve constipation ...Read more


Dr. Alvin Lin Dr. Lin
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What are stool softeners?

Dr. Alvin Lin Dr. Lin
1 doctor agreed:
What are stool softeners?

Constipation: Stool softeners are drugs used to do exactly what they are called: soften stool so that it's easier to have a bowel movement w/o straining. In theory, they should do nothing to your bowel as opposed to laxatives which can draw water from your bowel to keep stool soft or irritate your bowel to move stool along. While it's ok to take stool softeners regularly, try to avoid chronic stimulant laxative. ...Read more

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How effective are stool softeners?

How effective are stool softeners?

Depends...: Stool softeners come in many forms (fiber, chemical and 'natural'), all trying to increase the water content of your stools, as opposed to laxatives that stimulate the bowels to go by various actions, some of which may be quite uncomfortable. Beware of the so-called 'natural' softeners, unregulated by the dea, many of which contain harmful laxatives that can damage your colon cells, worsening it. ...Read more

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Can I buy stool softeners for kids?

Can I buy stool softeners for kids?

Safe for most kids: Docusate (per pdr) helps moisten & soften hard, dry stools. It is not true laxative, but facilitates natural defecation, usually within 12 to 72 hours. This is safe & available for children over 2, & assumes 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

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How long does it take for stool softeners to work?

How long does it take for stool softeners to work?

12 to 72 hours: Docusate (per pdr) helps moisten & soften hard, dry stools. It is not true laxative, but facilitates natural defecation, usually within 12 to 72 hours. This works best for occasional constipation, & assumes normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or instrinsic obstruction. Change in bowels is considered a "red flag", like weight loss or blood in stool, that if persists see doc. ...Read more

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Is it okay to take stool softeners dayly, long-term?

Is it okay to take stool softeners dayly, long-term?

Yes: See previous answer regarding softeners like docusate (colace) which are safe to use on a daily basis for hard stools. Don't use daily laxatives though. ...Read more

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How many days in a row of stool softeners do I take before bm?

How many days in a row of stool softeners do I take before bm?

Usually 2 to 3 days: Docusate (per pdr) helps moisten & soften hard, dry stools. It is not true laxative, but facilitates natural defecation, usually within 12 to 72 hours. This works best for occasional constipation, & assumes normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or instrinsic obstruction. Change in bowels is considered a "red flag", like weight loss or blood in stool, that if persists see doc. ...Read more

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How much time does it usually take for stool softeners to work?

How much time does it usually take for stool softeners to work?

12 to 72 hours: 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 works best for occasional constipation, & assumes normal GI anatomy without inflammation, stenosis, extrinsic or instrinsic obstruction. Change in bowels is considered a "red flag", like weight loss or blood in stool, that needs evaluation. ...Read more

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Are stool softeners bad for you? Can they be taken regularly?

Are stool softeners bad for you? Can they be taken regularly?

No and yes: Most stool softners are extracts of vegitable fiber. They are not laxatives which can damage your bowells if you take them reguarly. However taking stool softners does not mean that you do not hae to eat your fruits and veggies. ...Read more

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What does stool softener actually do?

What does stool softener actually do?

Helps moisten stool: They cause stool to retain more water and thus be softer in consistency. ...Read more

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What is the best stool softener to take?

Docusate: Docusate sodium. However the optimal dose varies from person to person. The over the counter dose is 50 mg and you may need to take it twice a day or maybe 2 tablets twice daily. Psyllium is a natural fiber that come in powder and acts as a softener if you take it with 8 ozs of water everyday. Make sure you take it 2 hours away from your medications. ...Read more

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What is the best type of stool softener?

What is the best type of stool softener?

Mineral oil: Over the counter mineral oil is better than stool softener in capsules. About a tablespoon or less at bedtime according to benefit. ...Read more

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Well i want to take stool softener because of my weight?

Well i want to take stool softener because of my weight?

Bad idea: Softer stool will do nothing to increase the rate of fat loss from the body. A healthy diet and exercise that creates a modest calorie deficit is a far more effective way to reduce fat. ...Read more

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What's the diffrence between a laxative and a stool softener?

Good question: A stool softener causes bulk to the stools and pulls liquid from the walls of the colon to aid in making the stools earier to pass. A laxative irritates or changes the physiologic function of the bowel to cause it to increase its contractions and expel stool. ...Read more

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What is the gentlest stool softener for someone with an ulcer?

Stool Softener: Prescription oral medications like colase, dialose, docusate, dos, doxinate, fleet sof-lax, hemaspan, modane soft and surfak, as well as numerous others, may be prescribed by your doctor as safe and effective stool softeners. They do come with a few side effects, however, including stomach pains, cramping and nausea. Take these prescription stool softeners as prescribed; usually at bedtime. ...Read more

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Bloating and gas from stool softener?

Bloating and gas from stool softener?

Possible: There are certainly some stool softeners that have high levels of certain chemicals that when in your GI tact can certainly cause the symptoms you describe. There are many other options for you - talk to your doctor about which ones would be right for you so that you don't get a nickname such as toot! ...Read more

Feces (Definition)

Feces is the product of ...Read more