What Are The Best Medications For Treating Constipation?

Experiencing difficulties in defecation is a common disorder in the population. Professionals define constipation as having < 3 bowel movements per week. Physicians use various medications to treat constipation according to symptoms experienced by patients. Patients define constipation differently, and some purchase drugs over the counter (Leung et al., 2011). Therefore, it is vital to know various medications given for constipation to get proper treatment.

Medications Given for Constipation

Most professions associate constipation disorder with having fewer than three defecations per week. Also, patients experience at least two of the following symptoms during defecation; hard stools, straining, incomplete, and blockages. According to Portalatin & Winstead (2012), slow transit constipation is treated by the following laxatives using an appropriate approach:

Bulk laxatives

A reasonable treatment approach is to start increasing daily fiber intake, known as dietary fiber The recommended fiber intake amount is 20 to 35 grams per day. Fiber medicine is readily available and is known as Citrucel.

If the condition remains: patients can use medicines like Metamucil, Konsyl, and FiberCon. They are available in powder, tablet, granules, liquid, packet, and wafer forms. Always maintain the body hydrated when using bulk medications. Doctors prescribe other laxatives such as:

Osmotic agents-They retain and absorb water to enhance stool passage. Agents used include polyethylene glycol, lactulose, and magnesium hydroxide.

Stimulant laxatives-They decrease lumen water absorption and stimulate peristaltic contractions. Medicine used are senna and bisacodyl.

Stool softeners-The common stool softener is docusate sodium which has a detergent effect for softening the stool.


If the condition has not improved after three days of taking bulk medicine, consult a physician. Doctors manage dysfunctional constipation with various forms of laxatives selected based on the patient’s symptoms and preferences.


Leung, L. et al. (2011). Chronic constipation: An evidence-based review.   https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2011.04.100272

Portalatin, M. & Winstead, N. (2012). Medical management of constipation. https://dx.doi.org/10.1055%2Fs-0032-1301754