What are Osmotic Laxatives?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


Constipation is often associated with straining, hard stools, infrequent bowel movements, and feelings of incomplete evacuation. Ideally, relief can be obtained through dietary and lifestyle changes. However, when these measures do not provide relief, many people turn to laxatives- osmotic laxatives in particular. There are many different kinds of laxatives available and they operate differently. Despite the fact that most are casually advertised on television, side effects are common.

What are Osmotic Laxatives?

Osmotic laxatives stimulate the intestines to absorb excessive amounts of water from the body. The process is slow, sometimes taking days to affect stool consistency. It basically makes diarrhea of the stool for easy passage. The danger is that fluid is pulled from the rest of the body and can cause severe dehydration and depletion of electrolytes. That’s not at all, gas can build up while you wait for the laxative to take effect (remember, it could be up to a few days); this can cause bloating and cramping.

Some of the names that you will see on the market include:

  • Lactulose: Duphalac®, Kristalose®, and Actilax® (Lactulose)
  • Sorbitol: Sorbilax®
  • Polyethylene Glycol Compounds: MiraLAX®
  • Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia): Phillip’s® Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax® Milk of Magnesia, and Freelax®

Be sure to thoroughly investigate any laxatives before trying them. It’s a good idea to consider that products operate by dehydrating other parts of your body.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • josh

    You’ve got to be shitting me (Pardon the pun). The majority of these complaints are either the kid just acting like a jackass or some other underlying condition. Stop placing blame on things without concrete evidence to support them.

    What’s next? Miralax causes the stock market to crash!! Turns people into brain eating zombies!! Causes global warming!! ZOMG!!

    Get real… You’re probably with that anti vaccination crowd too. Everything is evil! Science is a myth! Get that mess out of here.

  • CanadianKyosa

    It seems you may want to report your symptoms as they more than resemble the ones you listed.

  • Lou Smith

    Well, I’m assuming the Williams’ have not experienced an attack of ischemic colitis. I had an attack, when I was already in the hospital, or I would have died. Miralax is considered an osmotic laxative which can produce ischemic colitis. I will not use it – I would rather wait for another product to pop up with fewer deadly side effects, thank you. So, don’t take these laxatives lightly. Check them out thoroughly before you ingest! Oh, by the way, I have already had a very large polop cut out years ago. I’m more scared of the Miralax than the polops now.

Top Selling Supplements

Colon Cleanser Oxy-Powder® is the top quality colon cleanser. Promotes optimal colon health and regular bowel activity. Learn More

Liver Cleanse Kit This complete liver cleansing kit is a comprehensive approach to cleansing your liver. Learn More

Get to know Dr. Group

  Our Company




  • Global Healing Center
    2040 North Loop West, Ste. 234
    Houston, Texas 77018
    Telephone: 713-476-0016
    Toll Free: 1-800-476-0016
  • Contact Us