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Is using Dulcolax weekly safe?

dulcolax laxative laxative abuse ibs-c constipation

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#1 aesthetic

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 09:20 PM

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Hi there, it's my first time posting in this forum. I'm a 17 year-old teenager who has been dealing with IBS-C since I was 14. Whenever I eat anything, my stomach begins to swell. Because of the demanding schedule my high school imposes, I am often very stressed and have trouble producing a BM; without a laxative, I have never produced a full BM. I began by using Exlax, then moved on to Milk of Magnesia, & as each laxative slowly lost its efficacy, I moved on to Dulcolax.

 

I understand that it is dangerous to abuse laxatives; what defines laxative abuse? I use two tabs together each week. I asked my doctor about using Dulcolax once a week & she said it was fine, although I would be interested in second opinions from fellow sufferers of IBS.



#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:26 AM

Most of the "it causes by itself the colon to get lazy" is old information that was never fully verified about a laxative that is no longer on the market.  The latest data on the current ones seem to indicate any change in how severe the constipation is comes from the natural course of that person's constipation issues.

 

Usually "laxative abuse" in how I hear it used is daily/near daily and in doses much higher than the package recommends.  A lot of people who have an eating disorder where they purge with vast quantities of laxatives do seem to have long term constipation issues after they stop.  How much is laxative and how much is the damage from the disordered eating is hard to say.

 

It might be worth seeing if you can get some help with stress reduction (like a mindfulness-based stress reduction course and a lot of those are offered by phone so may be more accessible than you think) as that is a skill that will serve you well as you move onto post high school education and work.


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#3 Sean

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:21 PM

Your story sounds very much like mine. I have been using Dulcolax every 5-7 days for a long time in order to have a bowel movement. I tried other things, but, over time, they all lost their effectiveness. That does not seem to have happened with Dulcolax. I do not believe that I have experienced any harm from regular use and my gastroenterologist is OK with me using it.

 

I do have a question. Are you able to use it on school nights? I have to plan to stay home the next morning to be very close to a bathroom. The effects of Dulcolax are typically very urgent for me. Of course, I take the maximum dosage - 3 tablets - to ensure that it works completely.


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#4 aesthetic

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:00 PM

I do have a question. Are you able to use it on school nights? I have to plan to stay home the next morning to be very close to a bathroom. The effects of Dulcolax are typically very urgent for me. Of course, I take the maximum dosage - 3 tablets - to ensure that it works completely.

 

I tend to use 2 tablets around 3:55 pm on a school day, so I usually end up going later that night (usually 8-10PM, sometimes I'll wake up & go as late as 4AM, but honestly, I'll take lack of sleep anyday if it means I can have a full BM). If the drug does not work before I go to school, it tends to work at about 7:30 AM.

So to answer your question, yes, I am able to use it on school nights, but I have to take it in the afternoon at a calculated time to ensure that the odds of Dulcolax working at school are minimal.  


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#5 Aidara

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:08 AM

Sean, how many years have you been taking Dulcolax? Since fiber and osmotics doesn't help me much anymore, I am so tempted to try stimulant laxatives, but I know that I will need them regularly. That is why I am afraid to start them, because I am scared to death when reading horror stories about stimulant laxative regular use. Katheleen M. you said that the latest data doesn't confirm stimulant laxative dependency when taken in recommended doses, does it mean it is safe to take on the daily basis if everything else fails to work? If not, how often it is safe to take them? Thank you very much.


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#6 Sean

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 07:48 AM

Aidara, I first started using Dulcolax occasionally in university - almost 20 years ago. I have used it off and on since and I am 40 now. For the last 5 years or so, it has been my primary remedy. I do try to rotate off of it from time to time and use other things like enemas and suppositories for a few weeks. However, Dulcolax has proved to be the one thing that I can count on to work consistently.

 

I do know what you mean about being reluctant to start using stimulant laxatives regularly. Once you start down that road, it seems that there is no going back. At least that has been true for me. I have a certain amount of shame about the fact that I have to use them regularly, probably because there is so much negative press about laxative abuse. I know it is not logical, but I tend to think of my laxative use as a sign of personal failure.


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#7 annie7

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

Hi Sean--i just read your post and had to respond.

 

 i do understand what you mean about all the negative press about laxative abuse. i've felt all that too--a kind of negative  pressure placed on those of us who must take laxatives because our colons simply do not work on their own any more. but the way i see it, there is no shame in using them --you and i need them--as confirmed by our doctors, gastros,  colorectal surgeons.... we need them just like some people need their blood pressure meds, heart meds or any other med like that--our bodies simply do not work properly for whatever reason and we need to take laxatives because the alternative--in our cases, continual impactions or obstructions--is far worse than using laxatives.

 

i don't see i having to take laxatives as a sign of personal failure. over the years we've tried everything else to no avail. the laxatives are a last resort. we can't control our bodies, much as we'd like to..and of course by no means are you a personal failure in any way. i have always been so impressed at what you've done with your life despite having such severe bowel problems. really, you are an inspiration!


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these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#8 Aidara

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:09 AM

Doctors don't see constipation as a disease, unfortunately. This is annoying me so much. I think it is because of the common believe that you can stay regular if you lead a healthy lifestyle. It is so frustrating, because fecal impaction is a life threatening condition yet constipation is still to be considered some minor illness, if illness at all. For example, people with blood pressure are taken more seriously, there is no doubt they need daily medication, although it could be done so much with the right diet and exercise. But if someone is constipated and taking medications for that, that usually means that you haven't done enough with your lifestyle. Sean, I think this is why people like you feel ashamed when taking medications. I feel the same sometimes, my lifestyle is incredibly healthy, but I feel that other people and doctors think that I am not good at it enough cause, since I am still constipated and have to take something chemical. This is wrong! I pray that attitude towards ibs and constipation will change one day.



#9 Aidara

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:43 AM

I should add, that I  know that constipation is not actually a disease medically speaking, it is a symptom, but still it has to be taken more seriously.



#10 annie7

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 05:02 AM

Hi Aidara--actually chronic constipation--as well as ibs--  is a disease--it's a functional digestive disease--a functional bowel disorder.  here's one of many  links defining that:

 

       http://www.iffgd.org...l-gi-disorders/

 

"Functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders are the most common GI disorders in the general population....

 

The term "functional" is generally applied to disorders where the body's normal activities in terms of the movement of the intestines, the sensitivity of the nerves of the intestines, or the way in which the brain controls some of these functions is impaired"

 

and in addition,  there's pelvic floor dysfunction which also causes constipation and slows motility.

 

and oh yes i do so agree with you that many doctors are ignorant and do not take it seriously. that's why i'm so grateful to have two gastro docs who are knowledgeable about all this, do understand and do take it seriously. my university hospital gastro does a lot of research in this field. i hope and pray that you can find a gastro specialist who understand all this, takes it seriously and who will be proactive in helping you. 


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these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#11 idkwia

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:08 AM

Aidara - ask your GP for Constella as is now available in the UK



#12 Aidara

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 11:59 PM

Idkwia, thank you very much. I just found some info and it says that Constella is only used for ibs with constipation that is causing symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating. It is supposed to be prescribed when all organic causes has been excluded. I have had none of the tests done and I have no abdominal pain, only some bloating when constipated. However, I am going to ak my gp, cause fybogel and Movicol does nothing for me these days. Idkwia, since you are from UK, do you find it easy to get referrals from your gp?



#13 idkwia

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:56 AM

Aidara, if you don't have any pain then you don't have IBS.

 

Constella is the brand name for Linaclotide which will be discussed no doubt elsewhere on this board. There are numerous 'laxatives' on the market and this is just one which may or may not work for you. It is a question of trial and error. And of course the problem may be structural rather than the bowel not working properly.

 

I find it very easy to get referrals from a GP because my practice has about 8 different GPs so if one does not help me I go and see another one.



#14 IndianRopeTrick

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:32 PM

Be careful with laxatives. You don't want your gut to become too dependent on them and forget how to perform a BM. I had used minimum does of dulcolax almost daily for 4-5 weeks and it stopped working after that. Have you tried natural fiber foods, water, exercise over 3-4 months to see if that helps ?


IBS Free after about 8 years ! Now, I am living with a small Hiatal hernia and fixing my sleep problems. Not too bad.


#15 aesthetic

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:38 PM

Be careful with laxatives. You don't want your gut to become too dependent on them and forget how to perform a BM. I had used minimum does of dulcolax almost daily for 4-5 weeks and it stopped working after that. Have you tried natural fiber foods, water, exercise over 3-4 months to see if that helps ?

I have 2-3 apples, 2 prunes, and 2-4 FiberOne bars a day (I find them effective, but I'm trying to wean off them); recently I've been having more bananas and avocados. I drink 6-9 cups of water a day, and run a mile a day. Should I be doing more? 



#16 Jinky

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:55 AM

I just used Ducolax for the first time last night, combined with MOM, when my Sennakot/MOM cocktail failed to do an adequate job. I still feel heavy, like I am retaining a significant amount stool.

 

I hadn't defecated in five days.

 

I took one Ducolax tablet with a capful of MOM, and I had so much stomach pain last night that couldn't fall asleep

 

Now I'm producing some bowel movements, but still not as complete as the Sennakot/MOM when it was doing its job, and a lot of rectal burning. My stomach is better, but still not particularly well.

 

I'm surprised that the Ducolax is doing such a poor job, and am reluctant to go up to two pills because of the way I feel now. Going to start drink lots and lots of water, eat very light. Not sure if I want to return to Ducolax at all.

 

Surprised that some people here are using it nightly. The box touts it as "gentle, overnight relief." 



#17 annie7

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

Jinky--sorry you had such problems with it.

 

you probably already know this, but one thing to remember is not to take dulcolax within an hour of taking any antacids or acid reducers or drinking milk. this is what the manufacturer advises on their website and it's on the box as well.  dulcolax has a protective coating and all those things tend to erode that. if you took dulcolax at the same time you took the milk of mag, that might be the problem.  i never take the two together, since dulcolax takes a good twelve hours to work for me (and always has) i take it in the late afternoon/early evening and then take the MOM when i go to bed.

 

sorry the protective coating didn't protect you.

 

one or even two dulcolax never worked at all for me. i need three and always have. but then, i'm a tough case--lol...

 

so sorry you had problems. it's like they say--your mileage may vary, which is true of everything.  i have  heard other people complain of cramping, stomach pain etc as well.  i do have some pain with it but for me it's far better than the extreme pain i get with an impaction or from being hopelessly backed up. all of that really aggravates my adhesions too.

 

also--maybe another reason why it didn't work is because you're so backed up after not having gone for five days.  might try a clean out with a bottle of mag citrate or an enema, mega doses of miralax or whatever it is you use for this sort of thing to get things moving again.. 

 

hope you feel better soon. take care,


these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#18 Jinky

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:42 AM

Are you the person who takes the ducolax and MOM nightly? That's what I tried, and I did take the  one ducolax and one capful MOM at the same time. I took them together about 9pm last night and the stomach distress didn't go away until about noon today.

 

I feel much better.

 

I'm gonna to try to the Sennakot/MOM again. If that doesn't work I'm going to try separating the ducolax/MOM doses as you do. If I'm still getting considerable stomach discomfort I'll ditch it altogether.



#19 annie7

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:48 AM

 i alternate my dulcolax/MOM cocktail with cascara sagrada/MOM, just because my body seems to work better if i alternate stuff. .  and oh yes you def don't want to take dulcolax and MOM together.

 

good luck. hope you find something that works,


these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#20 Pinskers

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:13 AM

The Ducolax just stopped working for me with two pills.  Had an incomplete movement today, and I usually always go on the weekends, so I might need to bump it up to three and try Miralax again.  The constant rotation is such a pain.  I know I've been under immense stress lately, but was hoping the Ducolax would do its job.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: dulcolax, laxative, laxative abuse, ibs-c, constipation


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