Search info


What are oral stimulant laxatives?


Oral stimulant laxatives are fast-acting laxatives that are taken to produce a bowel movement. Oral stimulant laxatives help your body by generating steady contractions in your intestinal muscles. These contractions help to move your stool through your intestines and out of your body. Brand name oral stimulants include Ex-Lax and Senokot.

Do oral stimulant laxatives have any side effects?

Side effects of oral stimulant laxatives include: urine discoloration, nausea, faintness, diarrhea, cramping and belching. Also, some laxatives may prohibit the absorption of medications and nutrients into your system. Extended use of a laxative may cause you to develop an electrolyte imbalance. If you experience any of these complications, you should contact your doctor about the best course of action.

Who should not take oral stimulant laxatives?

If you are allergic to any of the essential ingredients found in these medications, you should not take them. People with certain medical conditions including; appendicitis, bowel obstruction, kidney disease, heart disease, irregular blood pressure, stomach pain, nausea, rectal bleeding and phenylketonuria should not take stimulant laxatives. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take oral stimulant laxatives. Additionally, the use of laxatives can be dangerous for children under six years of age.

Do oral stimulant laxatives interact with other medications?

Some stimulant laxatives may inhibit the absorption of medications and nutrients into your system. Persons taking certain medications should not take stimulant laxatives. Medications that could interact with stimulant laxatives include: other types of laxatives, antacids, milk, mineral oil, castor oil, blood thinners, antibiotics and heart and bone medications. Discuss the proper dose of oral stimulant laxatives and all possible complications with your doctor.

View oral stimulant laxative products.

Back to Ask a Pharmacist


Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices

20 Points
20 Points

Now you can track your blood pressure and blood glucose.

Start earning points Go Arrow