Constipation is frustrating, but relief is easily available
Constipation and laxatives
Ideally, you should aim to adjust your lifestyle to help prevent constipation but sometimes, you might need short term relief while these measures take effect and can decide to use a laxative. There are four types of laxative available.
A laxative can help by increasing the number of times you need to visit the toilet, and it can help to make your stools softer and easier to pass.
When should I stop taking laxatives?
It is recommended laxatives should only be taken as a short term measure and you should stop taking them as soon as your constipation has been relieved.
If you have constipation due to another medical condition or as a side effect of another medication you take long term you may need to take them for longer, but this needs to be under the supervision of a pharmacist and/or doctor.
Always follow the information provided with the medicine (the leaflet and packaging).
If you struggle with painful and difficult to pass stools making you strain, then osmotic laxatives such as DulcoSoft can help. It contains macrogol 4000, which uses water naturally present in your colon to soften the stools and make them easier to pass for a comfotable relief of constipation.
DulcoSoft is a medical device. Contains macrogol 4000. Always read the label.
If you struggle with hard, dry or difficult to pass stools but are still going to the toilet then a stool softener like DulcoEase® 100mg capsules can help. Stool softeners soften dry, hard stools making it easier and more comfortable to go to the toilet.
Contains docusate sodium, always read the label.
Contact or Stimulant laxatives
If you haven’t been able to go to the toilet for a while, stimulant laxatives may be recommended to you. Stimulant laxatives work by stimulating the muscles that cause bowel movement.
Stimulant laxatives include products such as Dulcolax® 5mg gastro-resistant tablets, Dulcolax® 10mg suppositories, Dulcolax® 5mg suppositories for children and Senna Tablets.
Dulcolax® tablets and Dulcolax® suppositories contain bisacodyl, always read the label.
Bulk forming laxatives
This type of laxative includes bran and other fibre related drinks. It works by making stools bigger and bulkier, which eventually stimulates your bowel muscles to move it along.
They can take a few days to work and are taken as either powdered granules dissolved in water or tablets/capsules.