Can someone tell me if it is safe to take a stool softener every day, forever? I'm taking a drugstore brand, 240 mg of docusate calcium twice a day, but will change if there is something better/safer. Thanks for your help.
Stool softeners should not be taken on a routine basis. They can cause liver damage and can increase the toxicity of other medicine that are taken at the same time. Docusate sodium is in Colace and Dialose.
The only type of bulk-forming agents that are safe to take daily--everyday are water soluble fiber supplements like psyllium and methylcellulose that are in Metamucil and Citrucel. You can also get psyllium in capsule form from health food stores.Some people like them ----just drink alot of water. If you take caps start off slow and work up to 4 a day. When you first start, it will cause gas and this is normal and will go away.It's a health thing to do---it regulates your bowels and sort of keeps your colon clean. I have taken psyllium for 16 years. It is probably the best thing you can do for digestive system. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
Hi, Lyla. I have never used stool softeners. The gas caused by using Metamucil is way too uncomfortable for me, I cannot use it, or anything containing psyllium. I use herbal laxatives only, but I cannot use cascara sagrada or senna, too much gas production, incredibly uncomfortable. When I take enzymes with each meal and acidophilus I maintain better. I am just finishing a series of colonics, I said I would never do this but it has helped me so much. I recommend it to anyone. There are certain things to look out for in a colon hydrotherapist, I can tell you what they are if you're interested. Also, there are certain medical conditions that do not allow the use of colonics, I learned about all this from the therapist I went to. Good luck to you, Devaney
to Devaney........Laxatives no matter what are not good on a routine basis. Laxative abuse is a very serious problem and can cause permanent damage to your system. Please rethink your use of daily laxatives even though they are herbal. Is it really worth causing serious damage by using these every day?? Have you given thought to what will happen when you get old and your body doesn't work as well as it used to and constipation turns up a problem but your system is damaged from the laxative abuse you are doing now? As a nurse it is not my favorite job to have to manually remove an impaction from an elderly person because the laxative, suppository or enema didn't work.
I eat yogurt with active culture (most of them have active culture these days) every day to get the enzymes that help my digestion. One cup a day is enough but eat all you want. Try eating a couple Oranges a day instead of taking softener. One half a cup of a cooked, dark leafy vegetable like kale or spinach works well. A forth of a medium cantalope is good.
Just don't eat them all at the same time. That can cause a problem.
I am surprised to see someone mention that stool softeners can damage you liver or another organ. My husband was told to take them every single day by his Gastroendorologist. He gave him a over the counter brand called COLACE. I can also used a substitute generic. I am not scheduled to return my husband to the doctor until May but I will ask him about your comment Senior Member because it would concern us.
I am truely Sorry about the problems you and your husband are having.You can call me Harry --everyone else does. I didn't dream up the advice I put in messages. This statement is in a book"Presription for Nutritional Healing" by Dr.James Balch,MD pg213 says, "Docusate sodium(found in Colace and Dialose) may increase the toxicity of other drugs taken at the same time, and may cause liver damage to occur." Nothing else is said other than they should not be used on a regular basis. As you said - You should consult your doctor. One of my sisters stayed on Colace well over a year after abdominal surgery with no problems. As you know we are all so different.
PS-1 I looked Colace up in several other medical books including 3 copies of the Phycians Desk Reference(oldest 1990) and found no references to any side effects.I will call the manufacturer on Monday, 1/29 and find out if there is anything to be concerned about.
Now I'm inteested in where Dr. James F. Balch got his information from???
PS-2-I called several pharmacists today and they didn't know but gave the phone number of Bristol-Myers- Squibb&Co. and they referred me to a company that bought out Roberts that use to make Colace-their name is Shier U S Corp. and they make Colase. I finally talked to a Medical Infomation Reprsentative that was knowledgable. The Rep said the only problem when using Colace that she knew about was when also using mineral oil w/Colace---that the two could possibly cause problems but they also make mineral oil.The Rep also said Colase was not recommended for routine use except in extreme cases. I asked what she meant by extreme cases -she said the elderly, wheel chair cases that could not exercise. If I find out anything else I'll let you know.
God Bless---Harry<p>[This message has been edited by Harry (edited 01-29-2001).]
Though this is an old message, I wanted to know more about stool softeners and I did not want to start a new topic on this, because there are so many here like me who got doubts about this.
Could you find more about stool softeners? I am also using them on daily basis for about a month and after seeing your message, got a bit worried. Is the information in the book correct? Thanks for any reply.