irritant or stimulant laxatives - oral

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irritant or stimulant laxatives - oral

GENERIC NAME: IRRITANT OR STIMULANT LAXATIVES - ORAL

Medication Uses | How To Use | Side Effects | Precautions | Drug Interactions | Overdose | Notes | Missed Dose | Storage

USES: This medication is used to treat constipation caused by conditions such as slowing of the intestines (e.g., diabetic autonomic neuropathy), prolonged bed rest/hospitalization, use of constipating medications (e.g., narcotics), or irritable bowel syndrome. This product contains either a stimulant or irritant laxative. Both types of laxatives help to increase the activity of the intestines to move stool out faster.Stimulant laxatives should not usually be used in children younger than 10 years unless prescribed by a doctor.

HOW TO USE: Read and follow all directions on the product package unless otherwise directed by your doctor.Take this medication by mouth 1 to 2 times daily as directed on the product package. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it exactly as directed. If taking 1 dose a day, take it at bedtime. If you are taking tablets or capsules, take each dose with a large glass of liquid (8 ounces or 240 milliliters). Do not chew tablets or capsules. Chewable tablets should be chewed completely and swallowed. If you are taking a liquid, measure your dose carefully using a medication-measuring device. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.Drink plenty of fluids (6 to 8 large glasses) throughout the day while taking this medication unless your doctor has instructed you to limit fluids.Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not use more of this laxative than directed or use it for more than 7 days unless directed to do so by your doctor. Long-term use (months to years) or use of higher-than-recommended doses may cause very serious health problems. Consult your doctor for more information.This medication may rarely cause an inability to have a bowel movement without the use of a laxative (laxative dependence), especially if it has been used regularly for an extended time or if it has been used in high doses. In such cases, this kind of use may lead to persistent constipation or loss of normal intestine function. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well or if you have difficulty having normal bowel movements without medication.Tell your doctor if your constipation persists for more than 7 days, or if you are unable to have a bowel movement after using this product for 3 days. These may be signs of a more serious problem.

SIDE EFFECTS: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, or bloating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Products that contain senna may cause red or yellow-brown urine. This effect is harmless.If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people who use this laxative correctly do not have serious side effects.If you experience any of the following symptoms, that may indicate a more serious problem, stop using this medication and tell your doctor immediately: rectal bleeding, bloody stools, sweating, fast heartbeat, weakness, dizziness, fainting.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this laxative, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any of its ingredients (e.g., senna, sennoside, cascara products); or if you have any other allergies.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: sudden/undiagnosed abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, other symptoms of appendicitis (e.g., very tense abdomen, fever, chills), blockage in the intestines, hole in the intestines (perforation), recent worsening of colitis.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially: laxative abuse.Do not use this product for weight loss or for extended periods. Long-term use (months to several years) or use of higher than recommended doses may cause severe problems such as blood mineral problems (e.g., low potassium, low calcium), poor absorption of food/nutrients, weight loss, muscle weakness, bone damage (osteomalacia), permanent damage to the large intestine. Consult your doctor for more information.Caution is advised when using this type of laxative in the elderly because this drug may be less effective for them, and there is a greater risk of side effects such as cramping. The elderly are also more likely to develop dehydration and blood salt problems if this medication is taken in higher doses.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.Use of this medication is considered to be safe while breast-feeding.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Mineral oil products should not be used with senna/sennoside products since serious side effects may occur.If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting this laxative.By increasing how fast the intestines move, this laxative may cause decreased absorption of other medications. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information and for directions on how to take your other medications.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: aspirin, medications taken by mouth that are monitored with blood levels (e.g., theophylline, digoxin, phenytoin, phenobarbital, valproic acid).This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

NOTES: If your doctor has prescribed this medication, do not share it with others.To help decrease constipation, drink plenty of fluids (see How to Use section), increase exercise, and increase fiber in your diet.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Last Editorial Review: 9/22/2010

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Reviewed on 9/22/2010
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