Fecal softeners are substances that are not absorbed from the alimentary canal and act by increasing the bulk of the feces and softening the stool so that it is easier to pass. Mineral oil has been in use for many years, either as the oil or as a white emulsion; it is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons. Its use has been criticized for many reasons. It dissolves the fat-soluble vitamins and prevents their absorption. It is itself absorbed slightly and appears in the mesenteric lymph nodes, and if it is inhaled into the lungs (which it may be in elderly or debilitated patients), it may produce inflammatory responses such as lipoid pneumonia. Its continual use, therefore, is contraindicated, although its occasional administration in otherwise well patients is not harmful. It is employed primarily in patients who must avoid straining at stool, including persons with hemorrhoids and other painful anal lesions. Leakage of mineral oil past the anal sphincter may lead to soiling of clothing.
Docusate dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (Colace), dioctyl calcium sulfosuccinate (Surfak), and dioctyl potassium sulfosuccinate (Diocto-K) are surface-active agents that produce fecal softening in 1 or 2 days. By means of its detergent properties, docusate allows water to penetrate and soften colonic contents when it is administered as a retention enema. Orally ingested docusate may also act as a stool softener by stimulating the secretion of water and electrolytes into the intestinal lumen. Docusate has been used both alone and in combination with other laxatives. Although by itself it appears to be relatively nontoxic, it may, when taken in combination with other laxatives, increase their absorption and lead to liver toxicity. Caution is necessary when docusate is prescribed together with mineral oil, since the detergent increases the absorption of the oil.
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Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.