Doctor insights on:
Stool Softeners Vs Laxatives
Stool softeners: Will help to bring more fluid into the stool to help them pass easier. They may take several days to start to work. Laxatives usually stimulate the bowels to move faster and push the stool through the system. They may cause cramps and should not be taken on a regular basis. Stool softeners can be taken daily along with fiber and good fluid intake to maintain good regularity. ...Read more
Can i take stool softeners while i'm taking a laxative and how long should I wait to take a second dose of the laxative?
Stool softeners: Occasional constipation can be managed at home with stool softeners, such as docusate and polyethylene glycol 3350. A stimulant laxative, such as senna or bisacodyl, can be added if the stool softener alone is not effective, but should not be taken continuously without physician supervision. If you only have a bowel movement after taking a stimulant laxative, you should see a doctor. ...Read more
Does long term use of stool softeners and laxatives cause vitam and mineral imbalances/ deficiencies?
Yes: Long term use of harsh laxatives like milk of magnesia or castor oil can cause nutritional problems but mainly they cause the colon to become more and more sluggish, causing more laxative use. If you have a problem moving your bowels or you are using laxatives for weight loss you should consult your primary care for advice. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
It is a laxative.: Stool softeners are a type of laxative. There are seven classes of laxatives: bulk forming - fiber. Osmotic- magnesium salts, peg. Stimulant - bisacodyl, castor oil, prunes, senna. Stool softeners- doss. Lubricants- mineral oil. Serotonin agonists. Chloride channel agents- lubiprostone. Usually the best treatment for constipation is a variety of agents in low dose. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Neither are laxative: 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
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
Constipation: Pure fruit juices especially prunes, pears, peaches, etc are good stool softeners. Foods rich in fiber include whole grain cereals with added bran, fruits eaten with their skin, vegetables like cooked beans, lentil, etc. And tree nuts. Increased water intake will fulfill the purpose. ...Read more
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