Drugs for chronic constipation are available for purchase over-the-counter or as a prescription from your doctor or a professional healthcare provider.
Most over-the-counter medications are used to treat more mild cases of constipation and usually come in the form of laxatives.
There are several different types of laxatives that are available on the market, but it is important to consult with a doctor or professional healthcare provider to discuss which type, or brand, will work best for you and your condition.
Types of laxatives include fiber supplements, osmotics, lubricant laxatives, stimulant laxatives and stool softeners.
Fiber supplements work by getting more fluid into the intestines and stool and can help push the stool through the system.
Osmotics help to keep more water in your system, which also helps to soften stool.
Lubricant laxatives allow the stool to pass easily through your intestines by coating them in a lubricant.
Stimulant laxatives work by allowing the intestinal muscles to contract, which allows for more movement of the stool.
Stool softeners so exactly what they are named and soften the stool. These medications usually take several days to take full effect.
Prescription medications, which need to be prescribed by a doctor or professional healthcare provider, include Linaclotide, Plecanatide, Lubiprostone, and Methylnaltrexone.
Linaclotide and Plecanatide help to regulate the amount of fluid in your intestines and speed up the movement of stool.
Lubiprostone works by increasing the amount of fluid that is secreted into the intestines.
Methylnaltrexone will specifically block certain effects associated with opioid-induced constipation.
Common side effects of these prescription medications include nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Medications prescribed by a doctor should only be used if over-the-counter methods are not helping to alleviate or get rid of your chronic constipation.
Talk to a doctor if you have any questions on the drugs and medications available for chronic constipation.
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