• Laxatives are a type of medicine that can help empty your bowels if you have trouble passing a bowel movement. It is widely used to treat constipation and is available (without a prescription or OTC) in pharmacies and supermarkets.
  • Constipation in most patients is due to eating more greasy and less fibrous food. Constipation occurs even after consuming less amount of water. In the absence of exercise, bowel movement slows down and constipation occurs.
  • Some patients have to stay in bed for a long time – such as heart attack patients, hip bone fractures, spinal cord, and spinal cord injuries, syncope, meningitis, and post-operative conditions, in these patients Constipation occurs due to slow bowel movement.
Laxatives: Uses, dosage, side effects, precautions & More.
Laxatives: Uses, dosage, side effects, precautions & More.

What are laxatives?

  • Two types of medicines are used for the treatment of constipation.
  • (i) Laxatives, (ii) Strong purgatives.


  • These medicines promote bowel movement and their side effects are also less. Soft laxatives are also of two types.
  • Bulk-forming These drugs increase the volume and water content of the stool, thus promoting bowel movements. For example- agar agar, Methane Cellulose, Isfagol, Dietary Fiber, etc.
  • Stool softeners- These medicines penetrate the hard stool and make it soft, which makes the movements easier. For example- Liquid Paraffin and dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate.

(ii) Strong purgatives:

  • These medicines make the bowel’s complete intestines weak by their use, due to which there is a possibility of constipation again and soft lax time is required for its treatment. These drugs are given along with anthelmintic drugs in worm infestation, in jaundice with hepatitis, and in preparing the bowel before surgery. There are two types of acute laxatives:
  • Saline purgatives or osmotic purgatives- These drugs increase the volume of stool by osmosis, thereby stimulating bowel movement. The feces discfecesby their consumption are watery. For example- lactulose, magnesium oil, cascara sagrada, etc. Hydro, side/Carbonate Sulphate.
  • Irritant purgatives – These drugs promote bowel movement by increasing bowel movement. For example- Phenolphthalein, Bisacodyl, Senna, Castor, Oil, Karkara, Sagrada, etc.


  • Category: Laxatives.
  • It is a thick liquid. Taking it for 2-3 days dilutes the stool.
  • Makes the intestinal wall smooth.
  • Uses:Constipation.
  • Dosage: 15-30ml daily in oil form or the form of an emulsion.
  • Prohibition: Children up to 3 years should not use it.
  • Precautions: This medicine should not be used for a long time.
  • Pediatric: Use with caution in children.
  • Pregnancy: Safe drug.
  • Lactation: Safe drug.
  • Side effects: irritation of the anus. Interferes with the healing process of rectal wounds.


  • Category: Laxatives |
  • Uses: In the preparation of the colon for proctosigmoidoscopy, preparation of barium enema in pre and post-operative stages, during pain in all types of constipation, rate-like conditions.
  • Dosage: Biscodil: 5-15 mg ? At bedtime, phenolphthalein is 60-130 mg.
  • Contraindications: Acute surgical abdomen
  • Precautions: Pregnancy first trimester/antacid and milk use prohibited.
  • Side Effects: Abdominal discomfort, and formation of sores in the kidneys.

3.Lactulose (LACTULOSE).

  • Category: Laxatives. Petal systemic encephalopathy, chronic or habitual constipation.
  • Dosage: 4-10gm or 30-50ml 3 times a day.
  • Contraindications: galactosemia, galactose or lactose diet, intestinal obstruction.
  • Precautions: Pregnancy, children, diabetes, debility.
  • Side effects: Afra, intestinal spasms, nausea, etc. are side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Laxatives.

Q-1: What are the 4 types of laxatives?

A-1: There are 4 main types of laxatives.

Bulk-forming laxatives. Bulk-forming laxatives work by increasing the “bulk” or weight of the stool, which in turn stimulates your bowels.

  • Osmotic laxatives. ,
  • Stimulant laxatives. ,
  • Stool-softening laxative.

Q-2: What are the names of laxatives?

A-2: Dulcolax (bisacodyl)

  • Raft (bisacodyl)
  • Senokot (Senna)
  • kasker
  • X-Lax (Sinosides)
  • Castor oil.
  • aloe.

Q-3: What are laxatives used for?

A-3: Laxatives are a type of medicine that can help you empty your bowels when you have trouble going to the toilet. They are widely used to treat constipation if lifestyle changes, such as increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting regular exercise, do not help.

Q-4: What is the best laxative?

A-4: In general, bulk-forming laxatives, also known as fiber supplements, are gentlest on your body and safest to use long-term. Metamucil and Citrucel fall into this category.

Q-5: What is a strong laxative?

A-5: Dulcolax® liquid laxative is faster acting than MiraLAX. Dulcolax® works in less than 30 minutes (30 minutes to 6 hours) while MiraLAX works in 1-3 days.

Q-6: What is a natural laxative for adults?

A-6: Prunes are probably one of the best-known natural laxatives. They provide plenty of fiber, with 7.7 grams in a 1-cup (248-gram) serving. They also contain a type of sugar alcohol known as sorbitol (34). Sorbitol acts as a laxative when consumed in large amounts (35).

Q-7: How long do laxatives last?

A-7: The active ingredients of laxatives can have different half-lives. For example, lactulose has a half-life of about 2 hours while bisacodyl has a half-life of 16 hours. Bulk-forming laxatives don’t have a short half-life, as they expire with your next bowel movement.

Q-8: Is milk a laxative?

A-8: Raw milk is considered by many natural health practitioners to be more easily digested than the more widely available pasteurized varieties, and may help relieve constipation and other digestive problems.

Q-9: Is tea a laxative?

A-9: Black tea, hot or cold, may have a mild enough laxative effect that may help prevent constipation, but you can consume it daily without long-term health risks. Adding honey or jaggery to your tea can enhance its laxative properties.

Q-10: What happens if you take too many laxatives?

A-10: The most common symptoms of laxative overdose are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Dehydration and electrolyte (body chemicals and minerals) imbalances are more common in children than in adults.


In conclusion, laxatives can be effective for relieving constipation when used properly. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare provider if you experience any side effects. Remember to stay hydrated and incorporate fiber-rich foods in your diet to promote regular bowel movements. Prioritize your health and well-being by using laxatives responsibly and seeking professional guidance when needed.

Disclaimer – The information given above is to the best of our research and knowledge. But, you are advised to consult a physician before consuming the medicine.