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What are the risks of using laxatives to treat constipation?

Prolonged daily use of stimulant laxatives (usually over the course of several years) may be damaging to the muscles of the intestine itself.

There are several types of true laxatives including osmotic laxatives (Milk of Magnesia or Miralax), lubricants (mineral oil) and stimulant laxatives (cascara or Dulcolax).

Other types of laxatives are generally safe and not habit-forming. Short-term use, as directed, should not cause any significant problem.

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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.