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How long does it take for stool softeners to work?

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Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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