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Who should take stool softeners?

Stool softeners are primarily used to prevent or treat occasional constipation. For the prevention of constipation, they are often used by people taking other medications that tend to cause constipation and by individuals with health conditions in which straining should be avoided, such as a recent heart attack, very high blood pressure, hernias, or surgery in the abdomen, pelvis, or rectum. Soft stools may also be helpful for individuals with painful hemorrhoids or other lesions around the rectum or anus. Stool softeners are sometimes used to help empty the colon before examinations of the colon or rectum.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.