Laxative are substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movements. They are used to treat and prevent constipation.
Laxatives vary based on how they work and the side effects they have. Certain stimulant, lubricant and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under certain circumstances. Sufficiently high doses of laxatives may cause diarrhea.