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Constipation is a condition that includes infrequent the bowel movements and hard stool. It is a common thing, and it is estimated that even 30% of overall population might have problems with constipation.

There are two possible reasons for constipation, obstruction or hypomobility (slow mobility) in the colon. Defecation obstruction is a functional problem in the body, while hypomobility might be caused by: dietary habits, medications, hormones or in some cases metal toxicity.

The constipation treatment usually includes: changes in the diet, laxatives, and enemas and in some cases even surgery.


The most common causes of stimulant laxatives use are: constipation and preparation of the bowels for examinations or a surgical procedure. There is also a possibility to use stimulant laxatives for the treatment of intestinal tractproblems.

Stimulant laxatives come in various forms, like tablets, granules, powder, suppositories or some liquids. Your doctor or pharmacist might recommend: bisacodyl tablets, castor oil, different suppositories, Senna or cascara preparations, etc.

Make sure to carefully read the instructions on the prescription and follow them. Do not take more laxatives than it was recommended.

In most cases, stimulant laxatives are taken before going to sleep, with a glass full of clear water. Generally, laxatives need several hours to increase your bowel movements and you should expect first results in the morning. Sometimes, laxatives can take more or less time to work. Don’t be alarmed if you didn’t have bowel movements for 24 hours after taking the medication, it might be completely normal and it depends on a person.

Castor oil, however, works more quickly, and it is not recommended to take it before bedtime. Doctors and pharmacists will advise to cool it down on the refrigerator and drink with orange juice, to neutralize the bad taste and smell of it.

Laxatives Side Effects

Some adverse effects are considered normal and harmless, like dark colored urine if you use senna or cascara. However, inform your doctor about: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps or irritation, if you have any.

Stop using laxatives immediately and ask for medical help if you experience: pain, tiredness, serious cramps, rectal bleeding or bloody stools.


Inform your doctor and pharmacist about the medications and supplements you have been using and about your current and past medical conditions (including pregnancy andbreastfeeding).

Stimulantlaxatives shouldn’t be used for more than one week. There is a strong possibility of developing the dependence on laxatives if you used these for a long time.

Don’t give stimulant laxatives to children younger than 10 years.

Don’t use laxatives if you are allergic to them.

Bisacodyl tablets are also used to treat constipation. Be careful when using them, because you shouldn’t crush or chew them. Another caution when using bisacodyl is the reaction with milk and antacid medications, and therefore you mustn’t use them together or within 1 hour.


Doctors often recommend a high fiber diet, plenty of liquids and regular physical activity to patients suffering from constipation. All these actions are proven helpful for these patients.

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