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Doctor insights on: Stool Softeners Vs Laxatives

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Dr. William Singer
399 doctors shared insights

Stool Softener (Definition)

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


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How strong is Metamucil vs senokot (senna) laxative?

How strong is Metamucil vs senokot (senna) laxative?

Apple and orange: Metamucil is a fibre supplement and not a laxative. That is it does not have a specific bowel stimulating effect. Senokot (senna) is a bowel stimulant. It is a vegetable product and a good product to start with if constipated. ...Read more

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Can miralax (polyethylene glycol) cause pencil thin stool?

Can miralax (polyethylene glycol) cause pencil thin stool?

Comcermnng: Miralax (polyethylene glycol) and other agents used for constipation should not cause pencil thin stools. I am concerned that you are requiring daily constipation medications. You need to see a gastroenterologist who then may proceed with a colonoscopy to make sure you have nothing in your colon that is causing the thin stool and you then need to discuss the issue of constipation. Please proceed with the GI physician ...Read more

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Can miralax (polyethylene glycol) change caliber of stool? Am being treated for constipation. Before miralax (polyethylene glycol) calibur was normal - with miralax (polyethylene glycol) stools are slow and thin.

Can miralax (polyethylene glycol) change caliber of stool? Am being treated for constipation. Before miralax (polyethylene glycol) calibur was normal - with miralax (polyethylene glycol) stools are slow and thin.

Oh my...: Before you contemplate long term laxative use, seek medical evaluation--rule out metabolic causes of constipation (e.g. Low thyroid or adrenal conditions), distinguish slow versus normal transit constipation, consider a primary rectal dysfunction that may be treatable with biofeedback, check for structural pathology or extrinsic impingement, or intermittent ileus (e.g. Pseudo-obstruction). ...Read more

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Stool softener= docusate sodium or docusate calcium?

Stool softener= docusate sodium or docusate calcium?

Either: Both work by causing small bowel to secrete fluid into gut. Increased fluid helps to sofeten hard stool; not a stimulant. ...Read more

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Is Miralax (polyethylene glycol) a laxative or stool softener? Addicting? How long to take to heal anal fissure?

Is Miralax (polyethylene glycol) a laxative or stool softener? Addicting? How long to take to heal anal fissure?

Wetting agent: Miralax (polyethylene glycol) is primarily a wetting agent,that holds on to water as it moves through your system and softens the stool.It is not addicting,but when you wean off the material, I would do so gradually.When your stool softens, you should empty more often, so the fissure is not pressured by a larger volume. This should allow healing within a week or two, but recurrence can occur if you return to old habits ...Read more

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Is lactulose a stool softener or a laxative?

Is lactulose a stool softener or a laxative?

Lactulose: Lactulose is a synthetic sugar laxative used to treat constipation -- also to treat buildup of ammonia in patients with liver failure. They can become very ill and confused --even obtunded -- when these waste products build up. ...Read more

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Constapation because of imodium (loperamide) and IBS, which on is better - stool softener or laxative?

Constapation because of imodium (loperamide) and IBS, which on is better - stool softener or laxative?

Constipation: If you know that you're constipated b/c Imodium, (loperamide) then stop taking it rather than taking another drug. For more info on how to deal w/IBS, check out http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20024578 ...Read more

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Do stool softeners like Metamucil work the same way as laxatives?

Do stool softeners like Metamucil work the same way as laxatives?

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

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Can stool softeners give me diarrhea?

Can stool softeners give me diarrhea?

Yes: Excess intake of stool softeners can give you diarrhea. Miralax (polyethylene glycol) can cause diarrhea, senna can, lactulose can, even mineral oil in overdose can cause diarrhea. Use the recommended amount. ...Read more

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Is docusate sodium or docusate calcium a better stool softener?

Depends: Since calcium tends to constipate, i'd tend to side with the sodium version. However, people with hypertension who are limiting their sodium intake should probably choose the calcium version. The docusate is the active component; so either version should work. Adding more fiber & fluids to your diet will help keep you regular, too. ...Read more

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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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Bleeding in rectal, exam shows blood in stool & hemorrhoids, have loose stool, rare for solids. Can I use miralax (polyethylene glycol) safely to help loosen impacted stool?

Bleeding in rectal, exam shows blood in stool & hemorrhoids, have loose stool, rare for solids. Can I use miralax (polyethylene glycol) safely to help loosen impacted stool?

Yes you can: Use a dose (17 gm packets) daily, but also recommend you start taking supplemental fiber (like metamucil or equivalent) along with. This will help you be more regular naturally. Once you feel you have "cleaned out" somewhat - stop the MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol) but continue the fiber on a daily basis. Also try warm soaks on your hemorrhoids, and topical creams with steroid (hc) may help, too. ...Read more

Feces (Definition)

Feces is the product of ...Read more


Dr. Oscar Novick
616 doctors shared insights

Laxative (Definition)

Laxatives are a ...Read more