A laxative is a substance that helps you have a bowel movement. Laxatives are used to relieve and prevent constipation, which occurs when it is difficult to have a bowel movement.
There are four types of products you can use to prevent or treat constipation:
There are many other ways to treat constipation, such as drinking more water or adding more fiber, fruits, and vegetables to your diet. These are often recommended in addition to taking laxatives.
Last Revised: October 6, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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