Why would I need to take laxative medicine?

One of the common side effects of transplant medicines is constipation. If constipation becomes a problem for you, your doctor can recommend an over-the-counter (without a prescription) laxative that might help.

Although laxatives are a reliable cure for constipation, your doctor might first recommend a diet rich in fiber, along with plenty of fluids and exercise to alleviate the problem. Prune juice, bran, and fresh fruit are all fiber-rich foods to include in your daily diet to help prevent constipation .

What types of laxatives will I be prescribed?

The following are oral laxatives and may be purchased without a prescription. Remember to check with your Transplant Team if you would like to use a laxative that has worked for you in the past.

Laxative What it is, How it Works How to Take
Metamucil This provides bulk (fiber) that allows natural elimination. Take one teaspoon mixed with a full glass of water two to three times a day.
Colace This is a stool softener that is often given in the hospital to prevent constipation. One to four Colace tablets may be taken daily with plenty of water to maintain soft stools.

Please note: Never take Colace and mineral oil in the same day.

Pericolace This is a combination of stool softener and mild laxative. Take one or two capsules at bedtime. For severe constipation, take two capsules twice a day.
Dulcolax This is a stimulant laxative that increases bowel muscle function. Take as directed. The tablets are effective in six to 12 hours.
Milk of Magnesia This is a reliable laxative to treat mild constipation. Take one or two tablespoons as needed.

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 4/1/2012...#4358