What are laxatives really—and are they ok to use?

Different laxatives offer different solutions for constipation.

Almost everyone gets constipated at some point in their life. When diet and lifestyle changes don’t provide enough relief, many will look to treatment options like an over-the-counter laxative.

Laxatives are commonly used to help relieve and prevent constipation. Whether it’s a stool softener, a bulking agent, an osmotic laxative (to bring water into the colon to ease bowel movements), or a stimulant laxative like Dulcolax® to help stimulate the muscles in the intestine to speed up stool movement, laxatives offer different solutions to people trying to get back on the go.

Exposing some myths about constipation treatments

Peer-reviewed scientific data demonstrates it is not likely that laxatives, when used properly, harm your colon or have a potential for addiction*. Dulcolax is even suitable for children 6 years and older and for breast-feeding women. And it comes in a convenient oral tablet that can help provide overnight relief.

* Since extended use of any laxative can cause dependence for bowel function, do not take for more than one week without consulting a physician.