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Health Tip: Taking a Laxative

What you should know

(HealthDay News) - While laxatives are generally safe if taken occasionally to relieve constipation, proper use is required to help prevent side effects.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions about taking a laxative:

  • Talk to your doctor before you take a laxative to make sure it won't negatively interact with another medication.
  • Be sure you are not allergic to any ingredient in the laxative, and also that the laxative is safe to take with your diet.
  • A laxative may affect the way the body absorbs other medications, as well as nutrients from food.
  • Do not take a laxative at the same time as you take any other medication -- wait at least two hours.
  • Take a laxative as directed to help prevent side effects, such as abdominal pain, cramping or diarrhea.
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