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Taking Soflax after colonoscopy. Any harm due to long term usage?

5 years ago I had a colonoscopy and it was recommended that I use soflax. I have been using 4 per day for the last 5 years. I m just wondering if this is doing any harm. I tried a couple of times to stop taking it and as a result I did not have a bowel movement for 7 days. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, exercise couple times per week and I drink 6 glasses of water per day. Do you have any suggestions? I would appreciate any info that you can offer me. Thanks Anne
Asked On : Sun, 17 Mar 2013
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Anne, you are experiencing Atonic constipation (sluggish bowel) due to overuse of laxatives. Soflax contains senna & docusate sodium. Docusate is a stool softener. Senna is a stimulant purgative.
Though Docusates are mild laxatives, they can result in liver problems when used for a long time. Senna is a strong purgative. It results in colonic atony if used for more than one year.
Since non drug measures are not useful for you, you can try bulk laxative like Bran. Although unpalatable, Bran prevents functional constipation. Prolonged intake reduces large intestinal luminal pressure hence useful when straining in stools has to be avoided. But it does not soften already formed stools & should not be used in conditions of intestinal ulcer or stenosis.
Answered: Sun, 17 Mar 2013
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