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Review of Dulcolax Constipation relief tablets
The Product and it's Purpose
Constipation is one of those subjects that people either treat as a source of amusement or are heartily embarrassed by. Normal bowel movements are something we tend to take for granted yet constipation is a most unpleasant and an uncomfortable problem that many people are affected by at one time or another. Apart from being unable to 'go', constipation can cause bloating, a feeling of 'heaviness', stomach discomfort, headaches and generally make you feel off-colour.
Eating a healthy diet, high in roughage, can help avoid the discomfort of constipation, but sometimes, a gentle laxative is required to get the system working again. Luckily this is something I am not often troubled by, possibly because as a vegetarian, I tend to eat quite a lot of vegetables, fruit and pulses. On the odd occasion that I have been troubled with constipation, Dulcolax has helped.
Dulcolax is widely available without prescription. It is sold in chemist shops, supermarkets and other High Street outlets. It is reasonably priced at around £1 for 10 x 5mg tablets or £3 for 40.
Dulcolax outer packaging is a distinctive green and white cardboard box bearing the product name, description and brief instructions for use. The tablets themselves are presented in a foiled blister pack, a very comprehensive information leaflet is also included within the box giving further dosage details, warnings, company information and so on.
The yellow tablets are tiny, about 5mm across. These laxative tablets are designed to give gentle overnight relief from the symptoms of constipation. Dulcolax are a dual action laxative, meaning they stimulate the muscles of both the large intestine and the rectum and the manufacturer states that Dulcolax may also help to restore the sensation or desire for a bowel movement, so aiding the body to regain its natural rhythm.
A Couple of Constipation Facts
True or False?
1) Women suffer more from constipation than men.
True! Women have a slightly slower digestion rate than men. For instance it will normally take 32 hours for food to pass through the female digestive system and be expelled as faeces compared to 27 hours in men.
2) Healthy people have a bowel movement each day.
False! Everyone is different, but the normal range in the Western world is considered to be between three bowel movements a day to three times a week.
Dulcolax Dosage and Warnings
Dulcolax tablets should be taken at night. They should be swallowed whole with a drink of water, not chewed.
Dose for children over the age of 10, the elderly and adults:- 1 or 2 x 5mg tablets
The active ingredient in Dulcolax is bisacodyl. I will not pad out this review with a list of other ingredients, as I'm certain no one really wants to read it and readers are sensible enough to check the packaging if they really need to know the exact ingredients in this product!
Dulcolax tablet have a special coating, so antacids medicines (for example indigestion remedies) and milk products should not be taken within an hour before or after using Dulcolax.
Do not take for more than 5 days. If a laxative is required daily, seek medical advice. Do not use after the use by date. Keep out of sight and reach of children. Consult a doctor should you take more than the recommended dose.
Who should NOT take Dulcolax?
Children under 10 years of age. Pregnant and breast-feeding women or those planning to become pregnant. People allergic to Bisacodyl or any other ingredient in the tablets. Sufferers of acute appendicitis, inflammatory bowel conditions, intestinal obstructions or other surgical abdominal conditions.
People taking steroid or diuretic medication should seek their doctor or pharmacists advice before using Dulcolax.
Possible side effects:-
Abdominal discomfort, including cramps, Diarrhoea. Very rarely allergic reactions have been reported following use of Dulcolax. Users experiencing persistent side effects should seek medical advice.
This is a very condensed breakdown of the warnings and advice contained in the Dulcolax information leaflet and I cannot really cover absolutely everything without making the review over-long and rather boring. If I had repeated the leaflet word for word, I think this review would have run into several thousand words!
As it is, I hope I have covered the most important points, I don't want to sound like a 'Granny-Grim', but I feel it is important to stress that if you need laxatives everyday or you have persistent abdominal pain, you should see a doctor!
Dulcolax have a website where you can find much more about the condition, advice on how to avoid constipation and how to resolve the problem.
My Thoughts and Conclusion
Dulcolax is a gentle and effective constipation remedy. I do not suffer regularly with the problem, but when I have occasionally needed a laxative, I know that I can trust Dulcolax to bring the desired relief! I like the fact that this product works overnight with no fuss or bother and I have never experienced any discomfort or side effects as a result of using Dulcolax.
My partner suffers with constipation now and again, he complains that it makes him feel sluggish and head-achey, and I can vouch for the fact that it makes him grumpy too! He used to use a liquid laxative from a different company, but now also uses Dulcolax and finds it suits him far better.
This is a product that we generally have in our medicine cupboard as a precaution. I would recommend it to others, with the proviso that they seek medical advice if their symptoms persist.