Nurse Continence Specialist Janie Thompson, Clinical Services Manager, Continence Foundation of Australia talks Laxatives

Laxatives are a commonly used medication to treat and manage constipation, however many people don’t realise that not all laxatives are the same. It is important to get advice from your GP, pharmacist or continence specialist
to help you work out if you need laxatives and, if so, what type, how much, when and how often to take them.

Commonly used laxatives can be broken down into categories.

Commonly used laxatives can be broken down into categories

You need to be careful not to take too much before you have had a chance to see the effect of the laxative as you may experience diarrhoea or loose bowel actions. You also want to make sure you don’t stop the laxative too soon, before your bowel has had a chance to form a pattern, especially if constipation is an ongoing problem. A Nurse Continence Specialist or Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can work with you to optimise your bowel function and
toilet habits. Call the National Continence Helpline for advice and information on your local continence service on 1800 33 00 66.