There are different kinds of laxatives. It's important to choose the right one. Some can be habit-forming and possibly harmful in the long run.
Stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), sennosides (Ex-Lax, Senokot), castor oil, and the plant cascara.
With these laxatives, the active ingredient triggers muscles in the bowels to contract, moving stool through. Over time, senna can damage nerves in the colon wall, and the drugs may stop working.
Osmotic laxatives include lactulose, which is prescribed by a doctor, and polyethylene glycol (Miralax), which you can buy over the counter.
They pull water back into the colon to soften stool. That makes it easier to pass, but research has found that they only help with constipation.
They may actually make other symptoms worse. Side effects include diarrhea, dehydration, and bloating.
Keywords: laxatives ibs; ibs laxatives; irritable bowel syndrome laxatives.