Your quick guide to laxatives
Many people suffering from constipation turn to laxatives to ease their bowels into action and find some relief. But what are some of the different types available?
Learn about the different kinds of laxatives
Laxatives come in many form. Take a look at our quick guide to learn about some of the different kinds:
Bulk-forming laxative products such as ones containing the ingredient psyllium, can have a laxative effect. As they swell in the gut, they soften and increase the volume of your stool until your bowels are triggered into action. These products generally produce an effect in 12 to 72 hours.
These types of laxatives help to stimulate your intestinal muscles into action. They can come in two forms: synthetic (e.g. bisacodyl) and natural (e.g. senna). Typically, they work to ensure your stool absorbs more water from the intestine, grows in volume and triggers the muscles that urge you to go to the toilet. Generally rectal products produce an effect in 15-60 minutes while oral products produce an effect in 6-12 hours.
Osmotic laxatives – in the gut
Working in the gut, these water-attracting laxatives (like lactulose) act by drawing water from the intestine wall into the colon. This increases the volume of your stool and sets off the triggers that get your bowels moving.
Osmotic laxatives – in the rectum
Similar to osmotic laxatives in the gut, these water-attracting laxatives work in the rectum to soften the stool and ease you into making a bowel movement. They locally target the source of constipation.
MICROLAX® – fast and predictable constipation relief
MICROLAX® is a type of micro-enema and gives quick, predictable relief in around 5-20 minutes. MICROLAX® draws water from within the stool itself. It’s also a gentle and effective treatment for babies and children.