Generic Name : STOOL SOFTENERS
Trade Name(s) : Docusates, Cellubril, Laxicon
Why it is prescribed: Stool softeners soften stools, making them easier to pass. They are taken on a short-term basis to relieve constipation by people who should avoid straining during bowel movements because of heart conditions, hemorrhoids, and other problems.
When it is to be taken: A stool softener usually is taken at bedtime. Follow the directions on the label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand. One to three days of regular use usually are required for this medication to take effect. Do not take stool softeners for more than one week unless your doctor directs you to do so.
How it should be taken: A stool softener comes in the form of capsules, tablets, oral liquid, and syrup form. The label tells you how much to take at each dose. Take capsules and tablets with a full glass of water. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose of the syrup.
Special Instruction :
1. Do not take stool softeners if you have nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; contact a doctor.
2. If sudden changes in bowel habits persist for longer than two weeks or if your stools are still hard after you have taken this medication for one week, contact your doctor.
3. Do not take stool softeners continuously for constipation and do not take more medication at each dose than as directed.
4. Frequent or prolonged use of laxatives can make you dependent on them and can cause your bowels to lose their normal ability.
5. Special dietary instructions should be followed. To prevent constipation, drink plenty of fluids, exercise regularly, and eat a high-fiber diet, including whole-grain, cereals, salads, fruits, and vegetables.
Side Effects :
1. Mild, temporary stomach or intestinal cramps; throat irritation. Contact your doctor if these effects are severe or persist.
2. Skin rash. Stop taking the medication and contact your doctor.
Other Precautions :
1. Do not take aspirin or mineral oil while taking stool softeners.
2. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, do not take over-the-counter stool softeners or any other nonprescription medication without obtaining your doctor's advice.
Storage Conditions : Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperature.