Laxatives: A Blood Pressure Risk?

can laxatives and stool softeners raise blood pressure

Constipation is linked to cardiovascular issues, including high blood pressure. Laxatives and stool softeners are used to treat constipation, but do they also affect blood pressure? According to sources, there is no interaction between the Dulcolax Stool Softener and blood pressure medication like Lisinopril. Additionally, docusate sodium, a common stool softener, does not increase blood pressure despite containing sodium, a mineral known to raise blood pressure. However, it's important to consult a doctor if you have concerns about taking this medication, as it can cause side effects such as heart palpitations, dizziness, and fainting.

Characteristics Values
Do laxatives and stool softeners raise blood pressure? No direct evidence, but constipation and straining during bowel movements can cause blood pressure to rise.
Drug interactions with Dulcolax Stool Softener 4 known drug interactions, including with Lisinopril.
Docusate Sodium and Blood Pressure Docusate sodium does not increase blood pressure, despite containing sodium.


Docusate sodium, a common stool softener, does not increase blood pressure

Docusate sodium is a medication used to treat and prevent constipation by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making it softer and easier to pass. It is a type of emollient laxative, also known as a stool softener, and is often the first method used for preventing and treating constipation. It is available in capsule, liquid, syrup, and drop form.

While docusate sodium contains the mineral sodium, which is known to raise blood pressure when consumed in high amounts, docusate sodium does not cause an increase in blood pressure. This is according to, as cited by However, it is important to note that it should not be used as a treatment for fecal impaction, nor should it be taken for more than one week unless directed by a doctor.

Docusate sodium is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, as well as those with appendicitis, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, undiagnosed bleeding, congestive heart failure, or intestinal obstruction. Side effects of docusate sodium may include heart palpitations, dizziness, fainting, abdominal pain, excessive bowel elimination, and weakness.

If you are experiencing constipation, there are alternative treatments to docusate sodium. Bulk-forming laxatives, for example, can be used for longer periods and pose little risk of side effects. They are a good option for people with chronic constipation but take longer than other laxatives to work. Hyperosmotic laxatives are another option that can be used for longer periods with a low risk of side effects and are suitable for people with chronic constipation.

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Constipation can be treated with laxatives, but it can also lead to cardiovascular issues

Constipation is not only uncomfortable but could also be a warning sign of cardiovascular issues. Harvard Medical School suggests that constipation may lead to straining during bowel movements, which in turn could cause a sudden increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks.

In a study of 73,047 postmenopausal women, those with moderate to severe constipation experienced more cardiovascular events (14.2 and 19.1 events per 1,000 person-years, respectively) than those without constipation (9.6/1,000 person-years). After adjusting for various factors, only the group with severe constipation maintained a heightened cardiovascular risk, showing a 23% higher risk of cardiovascular events.

Factors associated with constipation include increased age, Black and Hispanic descent, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, family history of myocardial infarction, hypertension, obesity, lower physical activity levels, lower fiber intake, and depression.

While laxatives and stool softeners can be used to treat constipation, it is important to note that they should not be used regularly and are not a substitute for maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, which are crucial for managing constipation and reducing cardiovascular risk.

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Dulcolax stool softener has no known interactions with Lisinopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor

Laxatives are substances used to help people have a bowel movement. Stool softeners are a type of laxative called an emollient laxative, which means all stool softeners are laxatives, but not all laxatives are stool softeners. Stool softeners are typically used to prevent constipation with regular use, and are best for people with temporary or mild, chronic constipation.

Dulcolax is a brand of laxative that offers both stimulant laxatives and stool softeners. The stimulant laxative contains the active ingredient bisacodyl, while the stool softener contains docusate.

Lisinopril is a drug that belongs to the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor class. It is used to treat various conditions, including Alport Syndrome, Coronary Artery Disease, and Diabetic Kidney Disease.

According to, there are no known interactions between Dulcolax Stool Softener and Lisinopril. However, this does not necessarily mean that no interactions exist, and it is always recommended to consult a healthcare provider before taking any medication. Lisinopril, for instance, is known to interact with 398 other drugs. Similarly, Dulcolax Stool Softener is known to interact with four other drugs, and Dulcolax Laxative is known to interact with 224 other drugs.

It is important to be cautious when taking any medication, and to inform your doctor about all other medications, vitamins, and herbs you are taking. This is because some mixtures of medications can lead to serious and even fatal consequences.


Laxatives can be taken orally or rectally, with varying times to take effect

Laxatives are a type of medicine used to treat constipation. They can be taken orally or rectally, and there are various types available, including:

Oral Laxatives

  • Pills: Some laxatives come in capsule or tablet form that you take by mouth.
  • Powders: Some laxatives are available in powder form, which can be mixed with water or other liquids and then consumed.
  • Liquids or syrups: Some laxatives are liquids that can be measured out and drunk directly.

Rectal Laxatives

  • Suppositories: Some laxatives are inside tiny dissolvable capsules that you insert directly into your anus.
  • Enemas: Some laxatives come in small squeezable tubes. The medicine is injected into the anus by squeezing the tube.

The time it takes for a laxative to take effect depends on its type and how it is administered. Oral laxatives, such as bulk-forming laxatives, typically take longer to work, ranging from 12 hours to three days. In contrast, rectal laxatives like enemas and suppositories act much faster, usually within 15 minutes to an hour. However, these rapid-acting options come with a higher risk of side effects, including diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

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Stool softeners are a type of laxative called emollient laxatives

Stool softeners are gentle medications with a relatively mild effect, making them a good option for people experiencing temporary, mild, or chronic constipation. They are also often prescribed after major surgeries, such as heart surgery or hernia repair, to prevent straining during bowel movements, which could lead to complications.

While stool softeners can be effective in providing relief from constipation, they are the least effective option compared to other types of laxatives. This means that they may not be the best choice for those seeking quick relief. Stool softeners typically take 24 to 48 hours to work, while some other types of laxatives, such as saline laxatives, can provide relief within 30 minutes to 6 hours.

It is important to note that, although they are generally gentle, stool softeners can cause side effects in some individuals. Oral stool softeners may cause throat irritation, and allergic reactions are also possible. Additionally, they may interact with other medications, so it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before taking them.

In conclusion, stool softeners, as a type of emollient laxative, can be a useful tool for managing constipation, especially in mild or temporary cases. However, they may not be the fastest-acting option, and potential side effects and interactions should be considered before use.

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Frequently asked questions

There is no evidence that stool softeners like docusate sodium raise blood pressure. However, constipation, which is treated by laxatives and stool softeners, has been linked to cardiovascular events and an increased risk of cardiovascular death.

Examples of laxatives include mineral oil, polyethylene glycol, glycerin, magnesium citrate, and magnesium hydroxide.

An example of a stool softener is docusate sodium, also known as colace.

The side effects of laxatives and stool softeners can include throat irritation, hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, heart palpitations, dizziness, fainting, abdominal pain, excessive bowel elimination, and weakness.

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