What Are Some Side Effects of Taking Laxatives?


Quick Answer

When taken properly, many people don’t experience negative side effects from laxatives; however abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting can occur, explains MedicineNet.com. Individuals should contact a doctor if side effects are prolonged or become worse.

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Full Answer

Some laxatives cause urine to turn brown, red or yellow. This side effect is common and is not dangerous. In rare cases, serious side effects such as rectal bleeding, blood in the stools, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and sweating may occur, according to MedicineNet.com. If any serious symptoms are present, a person should immediately stop taking laxatives and seek medical attention. Very few people experience an allergic reaction to laxatives. Allergic symptoms include difficulty breathing, rash and swelling of the face or mouth.

To prevent the likelihood of serious side effects or reactions to laxatives, patients should tell their doctor about any allergies they have to certain medicines and if they have symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or fever, advises MedicineNet.com. Persons who are currently experiencing severe colitis symptoms should also discuss this with their doctor before taking laxatives. Laxatives can interfere with certain types of medications, states MayoClinic.org. Patients need to inform their doctor of all the medications they are taking.

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