Before Using This Medicine
Importance of diet, fluids, and exercise to prevent constipation - Laxatives are to be used to provide short-term relief only, unless otherwise
directed by your doctor. A proper diet containing roughage (whole grain breads
and cereals, bran, fruit, and green, leafy vegetables), with 6 to 8 full glasses
(8 ounces each) of liquids each day, and daily exercise are most important
in maintaining healthy bowel function. Also, for individuals who have problems
with constipation, foods such as pastries, puddings, sugar, candy, cake, and
cheese may make the constipation worse.
If you are using this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and
follow any precautions on the label. For rectal laxatives, the following should
Allergies - Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or
allergic reaction to rectal laxatives. Also tell your health care professional
if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.
Children - Laxatives should not be given
to young children (up to 6 years of age) unless prescribed by their doctor
. Since children cannot usually describe their symptoms very well,
they should be checked by a doctor before being given a laxative. The child
may have a condition that needs other treatment. If so, laxatives will not
help and may even cause unwanted effects or make the condition worse.
Also, weakness, increased sweating, and convulsions (seizures) may be especially
likely to occur in children receiving enemas or rectal solutions, since they
may be more sensitive than adults to their effects.
Older adults - Weakness, increased sweating, and convulsions (seizures)
may be especially likely to occur in elderly patients, since they may be more
sensitive than younger adults to the effects of rectal laxatives.
Other medical problems - The presence of other medical problems may affect
the use of rectal laxatives. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any
other medical problems, especially:
Appendicitis (or signs of) or
Rectal bleeding of unknown cause - These conditions need immediate
attention by a doctor
Intestinal blockage - The use of laxatives may create other problems
if this condition is present