Stimulant laxatives are used to treat constipation or before rectal or bowel examinations or surgery. They work by increasing the movement in your bowel. They also are used to treat certain conditions of the intestinal tract
Take stimulant laxatives on an empty stomach with a full 8-ounce (240-milliliter) glass of water. Results occur more slowly if the medicine is taken with food. Most stimulant laxatives are taken at bedtime, with results by morning; however, some products may take up to 24 hours to produce a bowel movement.
Castor oil acts more quickly than the other laxatives, so do not take castor oil at bedtime. To avoid the bad taste of castor oil, chill it in the refrigerator and mix it with cold orange juice just before drinking. Castor oil should not be used routinely to treat constipation.
Do not crush or chew bisacodyl tablets. Do not take them within 1 hour of drinking milk or taking antacids.
If you are to insert a suppository, follow these steps:
Remove the wrapper.
Dip the tip of the suppository in lukewarm water.
Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.)
Using your finger, insert the suppository high into your rectum. Hold it in place for a few moments. Try to keep it there for as long as possible.
Wash your hands thoroughly.
Do not use stimulant laxatives for longer than 1 week, unless your doctor tells you to. Do not take more than the recommended dose; overuse of stimulant laxatives may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor if you do not have a bowel movement after taking a stimulant laxative.
Use of stimulant laxatives over a long period may lead to dependence. Overuse results in permanent damage to your intestine and colon. If your symptoms do not improve while using a stimulant laxative, call your doctor. Do not give a stimulant laxative to a child less than 10 years old, unless your doctor tells you to.
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