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What are stool softeners?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alvin Lin
Internal Medicine - Geriatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Alvin Lin
Dr. Alvin Lin
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