health condition

laxatives for kids

laxatives for children

Medication Summary

In several randomized trials, laxatives have been shown to benefit you in the treatments for chronic childhood constipation. Studies have also shown that polyethylene glycol, mineral oil, magnesium hydroxide, and lactulose work which enable it to supply for prolonged cycles without risk.

The key to pharmacotherapy is by using enough laxative to produce the desired effect. The intermittent use of stimulant laxatives may be necessary in certain children; however, routine use of these agents in children just isn’t generally recommended


Laxatives are medicines which help your body to eliminate poo. They are a necessary part of the treatment of long-lasting constipation and soiling.

Key points to recollect about laxatives

·               laxatives are medicines that really help your body to reduce poo

·               your child should strive for 1 soft formed poo that isn’t painful to do, each day

·               laxatives should be made until the body can manage a daily soft poo without help

·               lactulose and macrogol include the most popular and a lot effective medicines for kids with constipation

·               youngsters with hard or impacted poo sometimes desire a bowel washout

What are laxatives?

Laxatives are medicines that help your body to eliminate poo. They are a necessary part of the treating long-lasting constipation and soiling. Most are on the market at the pharmacy but it might be easier to call at your family doctor first. Your doctor can present you with advice in regards to the best laxative for your child and exactly how much to provide them. Your doctor could also provide you with a prescription which will means you’ll not be forced to pay for that laxative.

How long should my child take laxatives?

For as long as it requires. Children often need laxatives for months to years instead of weeks.

Remember that this intent behind laxatives is usually to allow your child to build up an ordinary habit of pooing regularly.

Ideally, your youngster should strive for 1 soft formed poo that just isn’t painful to perform, every day. Laxatives are important until the body can manage this without help. You may need to adjust the dose with time, nevertheless it is important to continue the laxative treatment.

Often children get sick of taking medicine, or dislike the tastes. Try to make the medicine taste better by putting it with milk or juice, or ask your physician or nurse about a alternative laxative. Incentive or ‘star charts’ can be quite a good way of encouraging your kids to take medicine regularly.

How do laxatives work?

There are 3 ways laxatives for childhood constipation work:

·               some soften the hard poo making it easier to accomplish (poo softeners)

·               some help the bowel push the poo out (stimulants or emptiers)

·               some wash the bowel out completely

Which laxatives are available?

Lactulose and macrogol would be the most popular and quite a few effective medicines for youngsters with constipation.

Lactulose – a poo softener

Lactulose is a liquid. It is the most popular medicine for constipation in children. It may taste better if you chill it or mix it with some juice or milk. Make sure your child brushes their teeth after their lactulose.

Macrogol – a poo softener and then for bowel washout

Macrogol can be a powder you mix with liquid. It is particularly good for kids with very, very hard or impacted poo. If you’re using this as being a bowel washout, ensure that you only try this after actually talking to your doctor and following their instructions.

Liquid paraffin/mineral oil – a poo softener

Liquid paraffin/mineral oil operates by lubricating and softening the poo but excessive can increase the risk for poo very oily. It tastes best if you blend it with some chilled chocolate milk or orange juice. If you do work with a sweetened drink, make certain your kids brushes their teeth after drinking it.

Docusate/poloxamer – a poo softener

Docusate/poloxamer comes as a capsule, tablet or drops. The drops are of help for the children under three years of age. Docusate/poloxamer is advantageous in babies and in kids with mild constipation.

Magnesium hydroxide mixture 8% – a poo softener and mild stimulant

Because the pharmacist needs to result in the mixture, it may take some time to become ready.

These are of help for treatment of constipation in a few situations but are not appropriate for long-term use unless under medical supervision.

Senna – a stimulant

Senna comes as being a tablet. Your child could have diarrhoea or stomach cramps in the event the dose is high. Giving senna through the night may reduce cramping and encourage a poo within the morning. Your child shouldn’t take senna long lasting.

Sodium picosulphate – for bowel washout

Sodium picosulphate is utilized for bowel washouts. You should only give this to your kids if your doctor has advised by using this. It is effective for kids with hard or impacted poo.

Most people are able to use laxatives, however, not every type are suited to everyone.

For example, you can examine together with your GP or pharmacist before using laxatives in case you:

·               have a bowel condition, for example irritable bowel (IBS), Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

·               have a colostomy  or ileostomy (where the small or large intestine is diverted with an opening within the abdomen)

·               have past liver or kidney disease

·               are pregnant or breastfeeding

·               have an obstruction somewhere in your digestive system

·               have diabetes, as some laxatives could cause an increase in blood glucose levels, that may be dangerous in the event you have diabetes

·               have difficulties swallowing (dysphagia)

·               have a lactose intolerance, as some laxatives contain lactose

·               have phenylketonuria (a hard-to-find genetic condition where our bodies is unable to stop working an element called phenylalanine), as phenylalanine can be found in certain bulk-forming laxatives

·               are taking opioid painkillers, including codeine or morphine

These situations seldom mean you can’t use laxatives, but some kinds of laxative might be far better in your case than these.

Children and laxatives

Laxatives aren’t appropriate for babies who weren’t weaned. If your child is constipated, try definitely extra water involving feeds. Gently massaging their tummy and moving their legs inside a cycling motion may also help.

Babies who’re eating solid foods could be able to use laxatives, nevertheless, you should first ensure your baby drinks plenty of water or diluted veggie juice and boost the amount of fibre within their diet. If they’re still constipated, your GP may prescribe or recommend a laxative.

In older kids, osmotic or stimulant laxatives tend to be recommended alongside dietary changes because first strategy to constipation.

Always check with your GP before giving your infant or child a laxative.

Read a little more about treating constipation in kids.

Natural methods

In adults, constipation can often be relieved by:

·               drinking more water

·               exercising more

·               including more fibre with your diet

If possible, try these easy steps before using laxatives.