While eating a fiber rich diet, staying active, and drinking plenty of fluids generally help stave off constipation, occasional bouts of irregularity do occur. If so, the first treatment choice should be an over-the-counter, bulk forming laxative, which draws water into the stool and makes it easier to pass. Sometimes marketed as “fiber supplements,” these products can take a half-day to several days to work and are safe to take daily. Another laxative options is the “osmotic laxative” MiraLAX (or a generic version), which holds water in the stool to soften it and increase bowel movements. There are also “saline osmotics” (milk of magnesia), which are magnesium-based and should never be used long-term or in larger than recommended doses.
When taking a laxative or Bulking Agent:
- Drink plenty of water or other liquids.
- Do not take stimulant laxatives regularly. Stimulant laxatives change the tone and feeling in the large intestine and you can become dependent on using laxatives all the time to have a bowel movement. Regular use may also change your body’s ability to absorb of vitamin D and calcium. This can cause weakening of your bones (osteopenia).
If you have any questions on what medication is right for you, talk with one of our friendly Med-Fast Pharmacists. We are open 7 days a week with 12 retail locations.