If you’re looking for relief from constipation, there are several over-the-counter medications that can help. While each person may respond differently to various constipation treatments, these medications are generally considered safe and effective.
The best OTC constipation medication for you may depend on the severity of your symptoms and other factors. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly used OTC constipation medications and how they work.
Before You Try Using Drugs
If you’re experiencing occasional constipation, there are a few things you can do at home.
- First, try increasing the fiber intake by eating more whole grains. You should also make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids every day, and aim to get regular exercise.
- If your constipation persists despite lifestyle changes, you may wish to opt for an over-the-counter laxative. But before you do, it’s vital to recognize how laxatives work and what the potential risks are.
Read on to learn more about OTC constipation medications.
How Do Laxatives Work?
There are a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can be used to relieve constipation. These medications work by either increasing the amount of water in the intestine or by increasing the muscle contractions in the intestine. Some common OTC constipation medications include:
- stool softeners: these medications work by adding water to the stool, making it easier to pass.
- lubricants: these medications work by coating the stool, making it slippery and easier to pass.
- stimulant laxatives: these medications work by increasing the muscle contractions in the intestine, helping to move the stool along.
If you are constipated, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about which OTC medication may be right for you.
Risks Associated With the Use of Laxatives
Laxatives are often used as a quick fix for constipation, but they can actually do more harm than good. Laxatives work by stimulating the bowels and increasing bowel movements. This can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even dependency. In some cases, laxative use can even cause intestinal damage.
If you’re struggling with constipation, it’s important to talk to your doctor about safe and effective treatment options. There are many constipation medications available that don’t carry the same risks as laxatives. These options include fiber supplements, stool softeners, and enemas. With the help of your doctor, you can find the best constipation medication for you.
Most Popular Over-The-Counter Options
Laxatives are a type of medication that can help to relieve constipation. There are many different types of laxatives sold over-the-counter (OTC), and they all work in different ways. Some of the most popular OTC laxatives include Miralax, Ex-Lax, and Dulcolax.
- Miralax is a popular OTC laxative that raises the amount of water in the stool, which makes it easier to pass. It is available as a powder or pre-mixed liquid and can be taken once or twice a day.
- Ex-Lax is another popular OTC laxative that stimulate the bowel muscles helping move the stool along. It is available as tablets, suppositories, or a liquid, and should only be taken once a day.
- Dulcolax is a type of OTC laxative known as a stimulant laxative. This means that it stimulates the bowel muscles helping you pass the stool. It is available as tablets, suppositories, or a liquid, and can be taken once or twice a day.
Constipation Should Be Treated Seriously
If you’re looking for an OTC constipation medication, be sure to consider all of your options. There are many different types and brands of constipation medication, and each one has its own pros and cons. Be sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist to get the best recommendation for your individual needs.