Posted on Jan 09, 2014

Many people take popular over-the-counter laxatives. Consumers generally think of laxatives as a harmless product. But they are not actually as simple and healthy as they seem.

NBC news reports on the serious harm laxatives can cause.

Numerous Americans are unaware of the fact that consuming laxatives more than once a day can cause fatalities in adults and children alike according to recent findings.   

The Food and Drug Administration issued a report saying, “Too much of over-the-counter drugs that contain sodium phosphate, such as...enemas and oral laxatives and other similar products, could cause serious kidney and heart problems.” They came to this conclusion after seeing many findings of severe dehydration and other health issues after consumers took more than one laxative in a day. These consumers also experienced an unsafe level of electrolytes.

Children and seniors are being cautioned even more than others. People who already have health issues such as kidney disease, bowel inflammation and bowel obstructions are also being warned to remain cautious.

NBC reports that those taking certain medications also should not take laxatives, “Those include diuretics or water pills, drugs to treat high blood pressure and popular pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.”

Specific guidelines have been set for who should be taking laxatives, “Caregivers should not give the laxatives to kids aged 5 and younger without talking to a health care provider. And health care providers should be leery of giving oral doses of the products to kids 5 and younger. Enema versions of the drugs should never be given to children younger than 2, the FDA said.” Those who are on medications that affect kidney function in general are being told to avoid laxatives altogether.

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Gerry Oginski
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