The Top 5 Constipation Medicines You Should Know About
Constipation is a common condition in which you have difficulty passing stool. It affects people of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a lack of fiber in your diet, dehydration, or certain medications. If you are struggling with constipation, there are several effective over-the-counter medicines that can help. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 constipation medicines you should know about.
1. Fiber Supplements
Fiber supplements are one of the most commonly used treatments for constipation. They work by increasing the bulk of your stool, making it easier to pass. The two most popular types of fiber supplements are psyllium and methylcellulose. Psyllium is a soluble fiber that absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance that helps push stool through your intestines. Methylcellulose is a non-soluble fiber that absorbs water and forms a bulky substance that helps soften your stool.
2. Osmotic Laxatives
Osmotic laxatives work by drawing water into your intestinal tract, which softens your stool and makes it easier to pass. The most commonly used osmotic laxative is polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is sold under the brand name Miralax. PEG is a gentle, effective laxative that is safe for long-term use.
3. Stimulant Laxatives
Stimulant laxatives work by stimulating the muscles in your intestines, which helps move stool through your digestive system. The most commonly used stimulant laxative is bisacodyl, which is sold under the brand name Dulcolax. Bisacodyl is a powerful laxative that should only be used as a last resort, as it can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
4. Stool Softeners
Stool softeners work by adding moisture to your stool, making it easier to pass. The most commonly used stool softener is docusate, which is sold under the brand name Colace. Docusate is a gentle laxative that is safe for long-term use.
5. Lubricant Laxatives
Lubricant laxatives work by coating the surface of your stool with a slippery substance, making it easier to pass. The most commonly used lubricant laxative is mineral oil. Mineral oil is a gentle laxative that is safe for long-term use, but it should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Constipation is a common condition that can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. Fiber supplements, osmotic laxatives, stimulant laxatives, stool softeners, and lubricant laxatives are all effective treatments for constipation. However, it is important to choose the right medicine for your specific needs and to use them properly. If you are experiencing chronic constipation or if your symptoms do not improve with over-the-counter medicines, you should talk to your doctor about other treatment options.