What Is the Best Laxative to Use?


Quick Answer

Two popular over-the-counter oral laxatives are Miralax and Senekot. Miralax works by drawing water into the colon from surrounding tissues, and Senekot works by causing the intestines to contract, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Laxatives are available in oral osmotics, oral bulk formers, oral stool softeners, oral stimulants and rectal stimulants. Each type of laxative works in a different way to promote bowel function and relieve constipation.

Medical professionals recommend that laxatives be used as a temporary solution to constipation, rather than a long-term solution, notes Mayo Clinic.

People with serious medical conditions such an intestinal blockage or appendicitis should not use laxatives. Many medications should not be taken with certain types of laxatives. It is also recommended that pregnant women, as well as women who breastfeed, geriatric patients and children under 6 years of age not use certain types of laxatives, according to Mayo Clinic.

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