7 recommended over-the-counter laxatives

In addition to those who are constipated by nature, many people become constipated after a barium test, during pregnancy, under the influence of medications, or as a result of aging.

Continued constipation can cause not only discomfort but also abdominal pain and nausea in some cases.

In this article, we will introduce the types of laxatives, how to choose the right one, and the key points to improve constipation!


What is constipation?

Laxatives are drugs that help the movement of the intestines through various mechanisms of action to improve constipation.

Constipation can be caused by many factors, including lack of adequate fluid and fiber intake, lack of exercise, and stress.

Sometimes, when these lifestyle modifications are not enough, laxatives can be helpful.

What is Constipation?


Constipation is defined as not having a bowel movement more than once every two days and feeling discomfort.

Constipation can be said to be when stools are colicky, there is a lingering sensation, or you have to push to pass stools, even if you pass stools every day.

The above is the “classification according to the Brinton Scale.” If you fall into categories 1, 2, or 3 and have discomfort, you are constipated.

Difference between over-the-counter and prescription medications

The biggest difference between over-the-counter laxatives and prescription drugs is how they are purchased and for what purpose they are used.

Over-the-counter medications are freely available at pharmacies and drugstores and are intended for relatively mild constipation or short-term use. Prescription drugs, on the other hand, are prescribed under the supervision of a physician and are more tailored to individual symptoms and constitutions.

In addition, prescription drugs may contain some serious side effects or address specific medical conditions, so their use under appropriate medical care is important.

If symptoms of constipation persist for an extended period of time or if over-the-counter medications do not provide improvement, it is recommended that you consult a medical specialist.

How to choose an over-the-counter laxative

There are many different types of laxatives.

This section explains how to select the appropriate medication!

Understand your constipation symptoms and condition

Before choosing a laxative, it is important to understand the exact symptoms and condition of your constipation.

There are various types of symptoms, such as difficulty in defecation, hard and difficult stools, or frequent bowel movements but no defecation.

You also need to determine for yourself whether you are temporarily constipated due to stress or poor diet, or whether it is a long-term condition.

Understanding these factors will help you choose the right laxative for you.

Ingredients and Effects of Laxatives

Over-the-counter laxatives are mainly of the following types: stimulant laxatives, non-stimulant laxatives, herbal medicines, intestinal preparations, and enemas and suppositories, each with different ingredients and effects.

Non-stimulant laxatives are safer with fewer side effects, but may take longer to be effective. Some cannot be used if kidney function is impaired.

Stimulant laxatives directly stimulate the bowel to expel stools, but should not be used long-term because of the risk of bowel dependence and side effects with continued use. It may also cause abdominal pain.

By selecting herbal medicines according to one’s constitution, they can be effective not only in improving constipation but also in improving one’s constitution.

Intestinal regulators regulate the intestinal environment and can be used for any type of diarrhea or constipation.

While enemas and suppositories are expected to have a rapid effect, their frequent use should be avoided.

It is important to understand these characteristics and choose a laxative that matches your symptoms and the effect you seek.

Dosage and Duration of Laxatives

Each laxative has its own recommended dosage and duration.

Generally, laxatives are taken after dinner or before bedtime, but some products are recommended to be taken after each meal.

It is also important to take them for the appropriate length of time, following the instructions of your pharmacist or physician, as long-term dosing increases the risk of side effects and dependence.

Adequate fluid intake is also necessary for effectiveness.

By following the dosing instructions and times, you can maximize the effectiveness of laxatives and improve constipation!

7 Over-the-Counter Laxatives Recommended

Constipation is one of the most common problems experienced by many people.

Choosing the right over-the-counter medication can help improve constipation.

Here are seven recommended over-the-counter medications to support bowel health and overcome constipation.

Magnesium Oxide E Laxative 40 Tablets

Can be taken by those 5 years of age and older.

Once a day before bedtime (or on an empty stomach) Adults (15 years and older): 3-6 tablets per dose, 11-14 years old: 2-4 tablets per dose, 7-10 years olde: 2-3 tablets per dose, 5-7 years old: 1 or 2 tablets per dose

However, the minimum dosage should be used for the first time, and the dosage should be gradually increased or decreased according to the condition of bowel movements.

EffectIngredientDose (in 6 tablets)
Improvement of constipation symptomsMagnesium oxide2000mg

A kind of “non-stimulant laxative,” it collects water in the intestines, softens stools, and helps smooth defecation.

It is characterized by fewer side effects and less stomachache.

The addition of a subtle lemon flavor and sweetener reduces the bitterness characteristic of the ingredient, and the tablets disintegrate quickly when taken with water, making them easy to take even for those who do not like tablets.

  • May cause stomach upset.
  • People with impaired renal function may be advised to refrain from using this product.
  • Some antibiotics and other drugs cannot be taken at the same time.

Oildel 24cp

Can be taken by those 15 years of age and older.

3-4 capsules per dose, twice a day in the morning and evening on an empty stomach.

The initial dose should be the smallest, and the dosage should be gradually increased or decreased according to the condition of bowel movements.

EffectIngredient Dosage (in 8 tablets)
Improvement of constipation symptomsDioctylsodium sulfosuccinate200mg
Herbal medicine that moves the intestines and replenishes “water”.hemp seed (folk medicine)1000mg
オイルデル 24cp

A kind of “non-irritant laxative,” its unique oily ingredients act on stools to improve slippage and aid in defecation.

It is recommended for those who have difficulty in passing stools because they become hard at the exit and for those who want to defecate easily.


May cause loose bowels.

Strong Myarisan Tablet 90 Tablets

Can be taken from 5 years of age and older.

Take 3 times a day after meals. 5 to 11 years old: 1 tablet once. 11 to 15 years old: 2 tablets once. 15 years old and older: 3 tablets once.

Effect IngredientDosage (in 9 tablets)
Intestinal regulation effectBacillus subtilis miyairi powder270mg

Strong Miyarisan Tablets are “intestinal regulators” with butyric acid bacteria (Miyairi Bacteria) as the main ingredient.

Bacillus butyric acid bacteria (Bacillus miyairi), which form highly durable cell structures called spores, reach the intestines alive and exhibit intestinal regulating effects by enhancing the function of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and suppressing the function of harmful bacteria.

By regulating the intestinal environment, it promotes natural bowel movements.

Colac II 40 Tablets

Can be taken by those 11 years of age and older.

Once a day before bed or on an empty stomach 11-14 years old: 1-2 tablets once a day 15 years old and older: 1-3 tablets once a day

EffectIngredientDosage (in 3 tablets)
Directly stimulates the large intestine and increases decreased intestinal peristalsisBisacodyl15mg
Moisturize and moderately soften hardened stoolsDioctylsodium sulfosuccinate(DSS)24mg

Classified as a “stimulant laxative,” it stimulates the intestines and facilitates the passage of stools.

Its effects appear relatively quickly, making it suitable for short-term use.

  • May cause loose bowels.
  • Abdominal pain may occur.

Picolax 100 tablets

Can be taken by persons 15 years of age and older.

2 to 3 tablets once a day before bedtime or on an empty stomach.

However, use the lowest dose at first, and increase or decrease the dose according to the condition and condition of bowel movements.

EffectIngredientDosage (in 3 tablets)
Directly stimulates the large intestine and increases decreased intestinal peristalsisPicosulfate sodium hydrate7.5mg

One of the “stimulant laxatives,” Picolax contributes to the improvement of constipation by stimulating intestinal peristalsis.

Its effects appear relatively quickly, making it suitable for short-term use.

  • May cause loose bowels.
  • May cause abdominal pain.

Colac Suppository Type 10 pcs

Suitable for ages 12 and up.

Insert one piece into the rectum at a time, and if it does not work, insert another piece.

EffectIngredientDose (in 3 tablets)
Produces carbon dioxide gas and activates intestinal motilitySodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)0.5g
Helps produce carbon dioxide gasAnhydrous sodium dihydrogen phosphate0.68g

An “enema/suppository” that is inserted into the rectum to directly stimulate the intestines and facilitate the release of stool.

Because of its immediate effect, it is suitable for early relief of constipation.

Tsumura Kampo Daewo Licorice Tang Extract Granules 12 packets

Can be taken by children 2 years and older.

Twice a day. 2 to 4 years old: 1/3 packet once a day, 4 to 7 years old: 1/2 packet once a day, 7 to 15 years old: 2/3 packet once a day, 15 years old and over (adults): 1 packet once a day.

EffectIngredientDosage (2 packets)
Move the intestines to promote bowel movements and improve constipation and blotches associated with constipation.Rhubarb、Glycyrrhiza2.0g、1.0g
ツムラ漢方 大黄甘草湯エキス顆粒 

One of the “Chinese herbal medicines” that helps improve one’s constitution.

It is expected to promote natural defecation and activate bowel movement from inside the body.

Suggestion of diet and lifestyle to improve constipation

To improve constipation, it is very important not only to use over-the-counter medicines but also to review diet and lifestyle in daily life.

Here are some suggestions to help improve constipation

Increase fluid intake

Adequate fluid intake is the basic principle for constipation relief.

Lack of water makes stools hard and makes it difficult for them to move smoothly through the intestines.

Keep in mind to consume about 2 liters of water per day to support the passage of stools.

Diet rich in dietary fiber

Dietary fiber absorbs water, softens stools, and stimulates bowel movement.

Try to eat a diet rich in dietary fiber, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and seaweed.

Regular exercise

Lack of exercise slows down intestinal function and can cause constipation.

Moderate exercise on a daily basis can stimulate peristalsis of the intestines and improve bowel movements.

Try incorporating walking, light stretching, yoga, etc. into your daily routine.

Regular life rhythm

Irregular life rhythms can upset the body’s internal clock and cause constipation.

It is especially important to maintain regular eating and sleeping hours.

Small habits, such as drinking a glass of water when you wake up in the morning and not lying down immediately after eating, can improve constipation.


This article has introduced types of laxatives, how to choose one, and lifestyle improvements.

With the above suggestions in mind, you should not only rely on over-the-counter medications, but also try to improve your lifestyle.

By making a few changes, you will be able to relieve your constipation problems and have a more comfortable life.

Also, if symptoms do not improve after about two weeks of use, stop taking the medication and see a medical professional.

If you like this article, please
Like or Follow !

Let's share this post !


To comment