Laxatives are bad for you. They tend to cause a pseudo-constipation, with
the need for ever-increasing dosages. In some cases they are thought to
poison the nerves to the bowel causing extreme bowel problems after long
Even common herbal ones such as Senna have never been tested as safe for
long term use.
If you have tried a high fibre diet, ideally via more fruit and vegetables
or if necessary by cereals or bran, more exercise and fluids, and have
sought medical advice to be sure that there is no underlying cause for your
constipation, minimal doses of magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) are
effective, and likely to be safest for long term use. But it is an
exceptional person who really needs them.
There you are! Some free medical advice, which I am sure is totally
unwanted, but possibly of interest to others..
( PS Don't take phenolpthalein - it is a good laxative, but like Senna is
a potent cause of melanosis coli)