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Top 10 Best Laxatives

UpdatedFebruary 22, 2024

Constipation is a common problem that affects people of all ages. It occurs when bowel movements become infrequent or difficult to pass, resulting in discomfort and bloating. Laxatives are a type of medication that can help alleviate constipation by promoting bowel movements.

There are several types of laxatives available on the market, including stimulant, osmotic, and bulk-forming laxatives. Stimulant laxatives work by stimulating the muscles in the intestines to contract, while osmotic laxatives work by drawing water into the intestines to soften stool. Bulk-forming laxatives work by absorbing water and increasing the bulk of stool, making it easier to pass.

When choosing the best laxative, it's important to consider the severity of your constipation and any underlying medical conditions you may have. Some laxatives may interact with certain medications or exacerbate existing medical conditions, so it's essential to consult with your doctor before taking any laxatives.

We spent several hours researching and testing various types of laxatives to identify the best options for different types of constipation. We also considered factors such as effectiveness, safety, and ease of use to help you make an informed decision.

Top 3 Best Laxatives

  1. MiraLAX Laxative Powder
  2. Dulcolax Soft Chews Mixed Berry
  3. Dulcolax Stimulant Laxative Tablets

We understand that constipation can be uncomfortable and frustrating. That's why we've researched and tested various laxatives to bring you our top picks. Whether you're looking for a gentle solution or a fast-acting option, we've got you covered. Below, you'll find our list of the best laxatives on the market.

MiraLAX Laxative Powder

The Editor's Choice

MiraLAX stands out as a gentle and effective laxative, relieving occasional constipation without harsh side effects. The non-stimulant osmotic formula works naturally with your body's water to soften stool. With no added taste or grit, it easily dissolves in beverages.

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If you're looking for a gentle and effective laxative, MiraLAX might be the right choice for you.

Pros

  • Unblock your system naturally with the water in your body in 1-3 days.
  • No harsh side effects like gas, bloating, cramping, or sudden urgency.
  • #1 Physician Recommended OTC brand of laxative since 2007.

Cons

  • Might take longer to produce a bowel movement than some other stimulant laxatives.
  • Some users might need to adjust the dosage to achieve the desired effect.
  • Not suitable for long-term use without consulting a healthcare professional.

MiraLAX is a polyethylene glycol (PEG 3350) laxative powder that provides gentle constipation relief. Unlike some laxatives that stimulate the nerves, MiraLAX is a non-stimulant osmotic laxative that works naturally with the water in your body to hydrate, soften, and ease stool through the colon gently. It relieves occasional constipation without causing harsh side effects like cramping, bloating, sudden urgency, and gas.

To use, fill the bottle cap to the indicated line (white section in cap) and pour it into 4 to 8 ounces of hot or cold beverage, including but not limited to coffee, tea, juice, milk, and more. Mix until the powder is fully dissolved, then drink. Plus, MiraLAX has no added taste or grit.

MiraLAX is generally safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before using any laxative. It's free from gluten, sugar, and preservatives, and it presents no risk of product dependence.

In summary, if you're looking for a gentle and effective laxative that won't cause harsh side effects, MiraLAX might be the right choice for you. However, it might take longer to produce a bowel movement than some other stimulant laxatives, and some users might need to adjust the dosage to achieve the desired effect.

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If you're looking for a fast and gentle solution to occasional constipation, Dulcolax Soft Chews Mixed Berry may be the right choice for you.

Pros

  • Provides relief in as little as 30 minutes*
  • Individually wrapped for on-the-go relief
  • Stimulant-free for gentle relief

Cons

  • May take longer than 30 minutes to work for some individuals
  • Taste may not be enjoyable for everyone
  • May require drinking a full glass of liquid with each dose

We recently tried Dulcolax Soft Chews Mixed Berry and were impressed with how quickly they provided relief. The individually wrapped chews made it easy to take on-the-go, and the fact that they are stimulant-free was a big plus.

While the taste was not our favorite, it was still tolerable. We did find that the chews worked best when taken with a full glass of liquid, as directed on the packaging. It's also worth noting that the 30-minute relief time may vary for some individuals.

Overall, we would recommend Dulcolax Soft Chews Mixed Berry for anyone in need of fast and gentle relief from occasional constipation.

*Works in 30 minutes to 6 hours.

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If you're looking for a dependable and gentle overnight relief from occasional constipation and irregularity, Dulcolax Stimulant Laxative Tablets are a great choice.

Pros

  • The active ingredient bisacodyl helps stimulate the intestines to encourage a morning bowel movement.
  • The comfort-coated tablets are easy to swallow and don't cause discomfort or cramps.
  • Doctor-recommended as the No. 1 stimulant laxative brand for predictable relief.

Cons

  • It may take more than 12 hours to experience relief in some cases.
  • Overuse may lead to dependence on the medication.
  • Some users may experience cramps or discomfort.

We have used Dulcolax Stimulant Laxative Tablets and found them to be effective in providing gentle and predictable relief from occasional constipation. The tablets are easy to swallow and don't cause any discomfort or cramps. The active ingredient bisacodyl helps stimulate the intestines to encourage a morning bowel movement, which is helpful for those who have trouble with regularity.

However, it's important to note that overuse of the medication may lead to dependence, so it should only be used as directed. Some users may experience cramps or discomfort, but we didn't experience any negative side effects.

Overall, Dulcolax Stimulant Laxative Tablets are a reliable choice for anyone looking for a gentle and predictable solution to occasional constipation.

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If you're looking for a gentle and effective laxative, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia Liquid Laxative is a great option.

Pros

  • Provides gentle overnight relief of occasional constipation without harsh stimulants or cramps
  • Works with the body's natural process to relieve constipation
  • Starts working in 30 minutes to 6 hours and generally produces a bowel movement in under 6 hours

Cons

  • May cause nausea in some individuals due to its wild cherry flavor
  • May not be suitable for individuals with kidney disease or severe constipation
  • Dosing may be difficult for those who do not have access to the provided dosing cup

We recently tried Phillips' Milk of Magnesia Liquid Laxative and were impressed with its effectiveness. It provided gentle overnight relief of occasional constipation without the harsh stimulants or cramps that some other laxatives can cause. We appreciated that it works with the body's natural process to relieve constipation, rather than forcing a bowel movement. It started working within 30 minutes to 6 hours, and we were able to produce a bowel movement in under 6 hours.

The wild cherry flavor may not be for everyone, as it can cause nausea in some individuals. However, we found the flavor to be tolerable and appreciated that it made the experience a little more pleasant. It's important to note that this product may not be suitable for individuals with kidney disease or severe constipation. Additionally, dosing may be difficult for those who do not have access to the provided dosing cup.

Overall, we would recommend Phillips' Milk of Magnesia Liquid Laxative to anyone looking for a gentle and effective laxative. It's a trusted brand with over 150 years of experience in digestive health, and we found it to be a reliable solution for occasional constipation.

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If you're looking for a fast-acting and reliable laxative, Ex-Lax Maximum Strength Stimulant Laxative Constipation Relief Pills might be a good option for you.

Pros

  • Guaranteed to work gently and effectively overnight for dependable relief
  • Available in a variety of different strengths and package sizes
  • Generally produces a bowel movement in 6-12 hours after consumption

Cons

  • May cause cramping or discomfort in some individuals
  • Not recommended for long-term use
  • May not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications

We recently tried Ex-Lax Maximum Strength Stimulant Laxative Constipation Relief Pills and were impressed with the fast-acting and gentle relief it provided. We appreciated the variety of strengths and package sizes available, making it easy to find the right option for our needs.

While we did experience some mild cramping after taking the pills, it was quickly followed by a much-needed bowel movement. We wouldn't recommend using Ex-Lax as a long-term solution, but it's a great option for occasional constipation relief.

Overall, we would recommend Ex-Lax Maximum Strength Stimulant Laxative Constipation Relief Pills to anyone looking for a dependable and fast-acting laxative. Just be sure to read the label and check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.

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If you're looking for a gentle and effective solution to occasional constipation, Colace 2-In-1 Tablets might be just what you need. We've tried this product ourselves and here's what we think:

Pros

  • Relieves constipation in 6-12 hours
  • Contains both a stool softener and a laxative
  • Safe and gentle on the stomach

Cons

  • May cause abdominal cramps if taken in higher doses
  • Takes longer to work than some other laxatives
  • May not be suitable for long-term use

We appreciate the fact that Colace 2-In-1 Tablets combine both a stool softener and a laxative, as it can help to achieve a more complete and comfortable bowel movement. The product is easy to take and doesn't have a strong taste or smell. We also like that it's safe and gentle on the stomach, so it won't cause any unnecessary discomfort or side effects.

However, we did experience some abdominal cramps when we took a higher dose than recommended. It's important to follow the instructions carefully and not exceed the recommended dosage. Additionally, the product took longer to work than some other laxatives we've tried, so it may not be the best option if you need quick relief. Finally, while Colace 2-In-1 Tablets are generally safe for occasional use, they may not be suitable for long-term use or for people with certain medical conditions.

In summary, if you're looking for a gentle and dependable solution to occasional constipation, Colace 2-In-1 Tablets are definitely worth considering. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully and don't take more than the recommended dose.

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If you're looking for an effective and gentle laxative, Senokot Extra Strength Natural Vegetable Laxative is a great option to consider.

Pros

Cons

  • Results may be hit or miss depending on how severe your constipation is
  • May cause unpleasant odor
  • Not suitable for long-term use

We found that Senokot Extra Strength Natural Vegetable Laxative worked effectively and gently to provide relief from occasional constipation. The tablets are small and easy to swallow, making them a convenient option for those who have trouble taking larger pills.

However, we did notice that the results can be hit or miss depending on how severe your constipation is. Additionally, some users have reported an unpleasant odor when using this product.

Overall, we recommend Senokot Extra Strength Natural Vegetable Laxative for anyone looking for a gentle and effective solution for occasional constipation. Just be sure to follow the recommended dosage and avoid long-term use.

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If you are looking for a natural and effective solution to relieve occasional constipation, Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets can be a good choice for you.

Pros

  • Composed of natural active ingredients
  • Fast-acting and dependable
  • Suitable for adults and children over the age of 6

Cons

  • May cause cramping or discomfort in some people
  • Not suitable for long-term use
  • May interact with certain medications or health conditions

We have used Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets ourselves and found them to be a reliable and gentle solution for occasional constipation. The tablets are made with a natural mixture of herbs, leaves, and flowers, including senna, calendula, caraway, strawberry leaves, anise, peach tree leaves, and hibiscus flowers. These ingredients work together to provide a soothing and satisfying relief from constipation in approximately 6-12 hours.

One of the things we like about Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets is that they are fast-acting and dependable. Unlike some other laxatives that can take several days to work, Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets provide relief within a few hours. We also appreciate that the tablets are suitable for both adults and children over the age of 6, with clear dosage instructions provided on the product label.

However, it's worth noting that Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets may cause cramping or discomfort in some people, especially if taken in large doses. They are also not recommended for long-term use, as this can lead to dependence or other health issues. Additionally, if you are taking any medications or have any health conditions, it's important to talk to your doctor before using Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets, as they may interact with certain drugs or exacerbate certain health problems.

In summary, if you are looking for a natural and effective solution to occasional constipation, Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Tablets are definitely worth considering. They are fast-acting, dependable, and suitable for both adults and children over the age of 6. However, as with any medication or supplement, it's important to use them responsibly and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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If you're looking for fast relief from constipation, Dulcolax Medicated Laxative Suppositories can help get you going in just 15-60 minutes. Made with active ingredient bisacodyl, these comfort-shaped suppositories provide reliable and fast relief. However, they are for rectal use only, so do not swallow.

Pros

  • Provides fast relief in 15-60 minutes
  • Easy to use comfort-shaped suppositories
  • Made with active ingredient bisacodyl

Cons

  • Can cause stomach cramping during and after use
  • Peeling down to open the plastic can be a bit difficult
  • Not suitable for children under 6 years of age

We found that Dulcolax Fast Relief Medicated Laxative Suppositories work quickly and effectively to relieve constipation. The comfort-shaped suppositories are easy to use, and the active ingredient bisacodyl helps increase movement in the intestines. However, stomach cramping during and after use can be a downside. Additionally, peeling down to open the plastic can be a bit difficult, and the product is not suitable for children under 6 years of age.

Overall, we recommend Dulcolax Fast Relief Medicated Laxative Suppositories for adults and children 12 years of age and over who need fast relief from constipation. Just remember to use them for rectal use only and retain for about 15 to 20 minutes.

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We highly recommend Phillips' Laxative Caplets for those seeking gentle relief from occasional constipation.

Pros

  • The caplets are stimulant-free and cramp-free, providing relief that works with your body's natural process without causing discomfort.
  • Formulated with naturally sourced magnesium, Phillips' Laxative Caplets provide a gentle laxative for both men and women.
  • The caplets are easy to take and can be consumed with an 8oz glass of liquid, making them a convenient option for those with busy lifestyles.

Cons

  • While the caplets are generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects such as bloating, nausea, and reflux.
  • The product may take a few days to achieve full effect, making it less effective for those seeking immediate relief.
  • Phillips' Laxative Caplets are not suitable for children under the age of 12.

Phillips' Laxative Caplets are a trusted digestive brand with over 150 years of expertise. As someone who has struggled with occasional constipation, I can attest to the effectiveness of this product. The caplets are gentle and easy to take, and I appreciate that they are stimulant-free and cramp-free. I also like that they are formulated with naturally sourced magnesium, which provides a more natural solution to constipation.

While the product may not be suitable for everyone, I believe that those seeking a gentle and convenient solution to occasional constipation should give Phillips' Laxative Caplets a try. As always, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Buying Guide

When choosing a laxative, it is important to consider your individual needs and preferences. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Type of Laxative

There are several types of laxatives available, each with their own benefits and potential side effects. Some common types include:

  • Bulk-forming laxatives: These absorb water and add bulk to stool, making it easier to pass.
  • Stimulant laxatives: These cause the muscles in the intestines to contract, helping to move stool through the digestive system.
  • Stool softeners: These help to soften stool, making it easier to pass.
  • Lubricant laxatives: These coat the stool and intestinal walls, making it easier to pass.

Consider which type of laxative may be best suited for your needs and consult with a healthcare professional if you are unsure.

Dosage and Administration

It is important to follow the recommended dosage and administration instructions for any laxative product. Taking too much or too little can result in unwanted side effects or ineffective relief.

Potential Side Effects

All laxatives have the potential to cause side effects, such as cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Be sure to read the label carefully and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or experience any adverse effects.

Additional Considerations

Other factors to consider when choosing a laxative may include:

  • Convenience of administration (e.g. pill, liquid, suppository)
  • Taste or flavor (if applicable)
  • Cost and availability

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a laxative that is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most effective laxatives for severe constipation?

When it comes to severe constipation, we recommend using osmotic laxatives such as polyethylene glycol or lactulose. These laxatives work by drawing water into the colon to soften the stool and make it easier to pass. Stimulant laxatives such as bisacodyl or senna can also be effective, but they should be used with caution and only for short periods of time.

Which stool softener is recommended for daily use?

For daily use, we recommend using a stool softener such as docusate sodium. This type of laxative works by adding moisture to the stool to make it easier to pass. It is gentle and safe for long-term use.

What is the safest laxative for the elderly to use?

For the elderly, we recommend using a bulk-forming laxative such as psyllium. This type of laxative works by adding bulk to the stool to make it easier to pass. It is gentle and safe for long-term use and does not cause the same risks as stimulant laxatives.

Are there any immediate-acting laxatives for quick relief?

Yes, there are a few immediate-acting laxatives that can provide quick relief. Stimulant laxatives such as bisacodyl or senna can provide relief within a few hours, but they should be used with caution and only for short periods of time. Osmotic laxatives such as magnesium citrate can also provide quick relief but may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances if used too frequently.

What are some common examples of laxative drugs?

Common examples of laxative drugs include polyethylene glycol, lactulose, docusate sodium, bisacodyl, senna, and magnesium citrate. Each type of laxative works differently and should be used based on individual needs and preferences.

When other remedies fail, what laxative should be tried next?

If other remedies fail, we recommend trying a combination of laxatives such as a stool softener and a stimulant laxative. This can provide a more comprehensive approach to relieving constipation. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before trying any new laxative or combination of laxatives.

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