Q:

Are there any dangers involved with taking a stool softener?

A:

Quick Answer

Dangers of taking stool softeners include allergic reactions and stomach problems such as cramping and diarrhea, according to WebMD. Long term use of stool softeners may cause electrolyte imbalance, reports Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Allergic reactions to stool softeners include hives, difficulty breathing, vomiting and fever, states MedlinePlus. Additionally, patients may experience throat irritation when taking oral liquid stool softeners. Rectal bleeding is a serious, though unlikely, side effect of taking stool softeners, according to WebMD.

Because stool softeners work by adding moisture to the stool to make bowel movements easier, long-term use can cause electrolyte imbalance, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients experiencing dangerous side effects of stool softeners should contact a doctor for immediate evaluation.

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