Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hard Stool Saline Laxatives

Saline laxatives are mainly used for cleansing the bowel, in order to prepare for x-rays, tests, or surgery. These products should never be used for long-term treatment. The active ingredient in saline laxatives either magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) or magnesium citrate. Phillips Milk of Magnesia is a mild saline laxative. These laxatives usually work in about three to five hours.

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Last Updated: Apr 10, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hard Stool References
  1. Bleser S, Brunton S, Carmichael B, Olden K, Rasch R, Steege J. Management of chronic constipation: recommendations from a consensus panel. J Fam Pract. 2005 Aug;54(8):691-8. [16061057]
  2. Brandt LJ, Prather CM, Quigley EM, Schiller LR, Schoenfeld P, Talley NJ. Systematic review on the management of chronic constipation in North America. Am J Gastroenterol. 2005;100 Suppl 1:S5-S21. [16008641]
  3. Clayden G, Keshtgar AS. Management of childhood constipation. Postgrad Med J. 2003 Nov;79(937):616-21. [14654570]
  4. Lembo A, Camilleri M. Chronic constipation. N Engl J Med. 2003 Oct 2;349(14):1360-8. [14523145]
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