Health Tip: Be Careful Taking Laxatives

Suggestions for using them properly

(HealthDay News) -- Though laxatives are generally safe medications, people should be careful when using them.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these safety warnings about laxative use:

  • People with phenylketonuria (PKU) should not use laxatives that include the ingredient phenylalanine.
  • People with an allergy to any ingredient in laxatives should not take them. Some people allergic to psyllium, which is used in many laxatives.
  • Don't take laxatives over a long period.
  • Take laxatives at least two hours before or after your other medications, as they may interfere with how those medications work.
  • Check with your doctor before taking laxatives if you are taking prescription medications.
  • Don't use multiple types of laxative at once (oral, suppository, etc.)
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