How long is it safe to use stool softener?

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.

Related Questions

How long is it safe to use a stool softener daily?

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...