Consumers should follow instructions and only use these laxatives—swallowed as a liquid or used as an enema—as a single dose, once a day. The products shouldn’t be used for more than three consecutive days.
“Equally important, consumers who do not have a bowel movement after taking an oral or rectal dose should not take another dose of the product,” the FDA stated. It can cause dehydration by drawing water into the bowel.
The FDA recommended that adults over age 55 and anyone with kidney disease, heart problems, or signs of dehydration should check with their doctor before using a Fleet product because they could be an increased risk of dangerous side effects.
Laxatives associated with fewer health risks include psyllium, a soluble fiber, mineral oil, or methylcellulose (another plant fiber) and glycerin suppositories.Deborah Kotz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.