How do medications for constipation work?

Constipation medications are an option against constipation, although it is recommended to try diet changes first. If then there is no option, there are laxative drugs.

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Medications for constipation are what are commonly called laxatives . They alleviate the symptoms of occasional constipation, and also configure a fiber-based treatment to restore normal intestinal transit.

Before using medications for constipation, there are a number of measures to avoid or alleviate it. These measures include changes in diet and beverage consumption.

Some changes in food and drink consumption can soften stool and make it easier to pass. For this you must consume more foods with high fiber content, drink plenty of water and other liquids.

How can constipation be treated?

It is possible to treat and prevent constipation by making dietary changes , practicing regular physical exercise, and trying to train the intestine. E ntrenarte to have a bowel movement at the same time every day helps you be more regular. You may find it helpful to try to evacuate 15 to 45 minutes after breakfast, since eating helps the colon move stool.

You should give yourself enough time to have a bowel movement , and try to go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to do so. It is also convenient to relax your muscles or put your feet on a stool to be more comfortable.

Constipation medications

Before using medications to treat constipation, it is advisable to try changes in habits

If changing your diet and lifestyle are not enough to combat constipation, you can choose to use pharmacological treatment. Depending on their mechanism of action, they are classified as follows:

Laxatives that increase stool volume

These laxatives, by increasing fecal volume, indirectly stimulate bowel movements. This group includes mass-forming laxatives and osmotic laxatives:

  • Bulk laxatives:c onsisten in supplements fiber that must always be accompanied by abundant water intake. Fiber absorbs water and modifies stool consistency. The effect of action is not immediate, and may take weeks to be clinically effective. One of the main problems they cause is the feeling of bloating and flatulence, which are due to the fermentation of the fiber once it has reached the colon. This effect disappears after a few days.
  • Osmotic laxatives:s or action is based on its ability to extract and retain water in the intestinal lumen, thereby increasing the volume of stool. Among them are macrogol, polyethylene glycol and lactulose.

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 Stimulant laxatives

These laxatives act by direct stimulation of bowel movements , inducing motor activity in the colon. The most widely used are bisacodyl, cascara sagrada, and sennosides.

Its use is not usually recommended as a first-line treatment, however, they are a good alternative as a rescue in case of non-response to fiber treatment or osmotic laxatives.

Emollient laxatives

The laxative effect is due to the fact that they produce a feces emulsion with fats and water. Among them are paraffin oil and glycerin, although they are not often used as a maintenance treatment.

It is preferable to use dietary changes before proceeding to the use of medications for constipation, and leaving them as a last option

Other medications for constipation

  • Linaclotide: is a drug that stimulates the flow of water and electrolytes into the intestinal lumen. Its use is accepted for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome that presents with severe constipation.
  • Prucalopride: Increases intestinal contractions by stimulating serotonin receptors. It is indicated in those patients who do not respond to treatment with laxatives.

In some cases, cleaning enemas can be used to avoid fecal impaction after several days without defecating.

Also  read: Lazy intestine: everything you need to know

Feeding first

If you have a tendency to constipation, try to follow proper eating habits, as well as exercising regularly and having a bowel movement at the same times. However, you can resort to using the right medications to help you solve your type of constipation.


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