Best Over-the-Counter Constipation Treatment

When you have used the natural remedies for constipation but it just won’t go away, the following options are inexpensive over the counter constipation treatments that may give you some relief.

Pharmacological Constipation Treatments

We all know that constipation is a condition in which emptying the bowels is difficult, mostly because of hardened feces.

Therefore the best natural remedies and treatments for constipation have the same main purpose, which is to soften the stool to facilitate emptying the bowels.

How to Treat Constipation

1. Water

Drink WaterSometimes lifestyle changes like change in diet, travel, or stress can lead to slow bowel motility. Increasing your water intake will soften your stools, allowing them to pass with minimal strain.

It will take several days to see an effect, but worth the wait for this natural constipation remedy.

2. Mineral Oil

This inexpensive trick coats the stool in a slippery film, allowing it to pass easily. Two tablespoons mixed in juice may be an effective constipation treatment and in 1-2 days.

You may see the oil in the bowl when you are done with your business but that’s 100% normal. The best thing about mineral oil is it does not get absorbed into your body, it just goes straight through.

3. Psyllium

This type of dietary fiber can prevent constipation as well as diarrhea. It has even been shown to decrease cholesterol in diabetic patients!

It comes in several different forms, but it needs to be taken with an adequate amount of water or you won’t see any benefit. Follow the dosing directions on the package as every product is different.

4. Miralax or PEG 3350 (polyethylene glycol 3350)

It works by increasing the amount of fluid in your stool.

Take 17g, about a heaping tablespoon, and mix it with some juice or water. Take this once a day for no more than one week.

You will likely see results in 1-3 days.

Sometimes you can get the powder in different flavors, but I recommend just drinking it as fast as you can so it doesn’t clump up at the bottom of your glass!

5. Glycerin

This only comes in a suppository, but it does not get absorbed into your body, so it’s great if you want to avoid more aggressive constipation treatment.

If you need relief from your constipation in a hurry, and who doesn’t, a glycerin suppository works in about 15-60 minutes!

Remember to wash your hands before and after administration.

6. Stool Softeners

The active ingredient docusate will help decrease hard stools and increase the frequency of bowel movements. Any over the counter brand will work so don’t feel like you have to get a specific product.

Aim for about 100mg of docusate twice a day until your constipation is resolved. Although not really a medicine for constipation, this is a great first drug to try if you’ve already attempted natural remedies with little success.

And of course, they work better if you take it with plenty of fluids.

7. Enemas

This group gets a bad rep for being difficult to administer, but they work quickly compared to the other options and can relieve constipation in a matter of hours. Follow the directions on the package closely.

Where I work, we frequently use “Fleet Enema” with much success.

8. Magnesium Citrate

Although it might look like sparkling lemonade, it really promotes fluid to move into your colon which increases the peristaltic activity of your GI tract.

Try drinking 150 ml ( about half the bottle) and you will likely have relief in 30 minutes to 6 hours.

Avoid this, though, if you have a history of kidney disease.

9. Stimulant Laxatives

The two active ingredients in this class are senna and bisacodyl. Both can relieve constipation in about 6-24 hours, however, they can cause some abdominal discomfort.

The bisacodyl can work as fast as 1 hour if you buy and use the suppository form. Being adequately hydrated is a must so take this constipation medicine with a full glass of water.

Pregnant women should avoid this class unless specifically recommended by their physician.

10. Fiber

If you can’t eat enough high fiber foods, then your best option is to go to the pharmacy and grab some fiber supplements.

Just follow the directions, but usually a teaspoon of fiber powder in a cup of water, once or twice a day, is all you need to get the stool softened a bit and get some relief.

More fiber is usually one of the best treatments for constipation.

So, how to cure constipation?

The most important way is always…find the cause!

The occasional bought of constipation sometimes just happens, but if you’re experiencing constipation or hard stools several times a month, take a look at your lifestyle.

One of the major constipation causes I see with patients is medication-induced constipation.

Even over the counter medications like tums, prilosec, and calcium supplements are sometimes to blame for infrequent or painful bowel movements.

If you think your medications could be causing constipation, talk to your physician, and then try one or more of the constipation treatments that you’ve learned today!

By the way, have you ever gone through it? How did you cure constipation?


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