Frequently Asked Questions
Agiolax® contains two natural ingredients that work together to help relieve constipation:
Senna is a stimulant laxative causing rhythmic contractions in the intestines to help push stool through the intestines. (3,16)
Fibre is a bulk laxative and is considered the safest laxative. It absorbs water in the intestine and makes the stool softer. It should however be taken with plenty of water. (3,16)
During the first three months of pregnancy, Agiolax® should only be used if constipation cannot be remedied by a change in diet or with the aid of bulking agents. It is recommended that Agiolax® should only be used after consultation with a medical practitioner.
Breakdown products of senna pods, such as rhein have a laxative action and pass in small amounts into the maternal milk. For more, see Constipation in Pregnancy.
Agiolax® is indicated for use by adults and children older than 12 years.
Agiolax® is generally well tolerated. Very rarely, people may experience cramp-like gastrointestinal complaints after use, which are resolved by reducing the dose.
Agiolax® lowers the transit time through the gut and could interfere with the absorption of other substances. If you take Agiolax® at the same time as other medications, you may delay or reduce their efficacy. If you have specific questions or concerns about taking Agiolax® with your prescription medication, e.g. insulin, cardiac glycosides, cortisone or diuretics, speak to your doctor or a healthcare professional.
Agiolax® is contraindicated (can not be used) if:
- You have hypersensitivity to the ingredients;
- You suffer from intestinal obstruction, or conditions likely to lead to intestinal obstruction; or
- You have undiagnosed abdominal symptoms.
Agiolax® is not recommended for periods longer than 1 week, unless directed to by a medical practitioner. Frequent or prolonged use of laxatives may lead to a loss of normal bowel function and result in dependence on it.
When you suffer from constipation the worst thing to do is to put off having a bowel movement. This worsens your constipation and leads to straining, which in turn leads to complications, like: (3, 4,12, 16)
- Haemorrhoids (piles);
- Anal fissures (tears in the skin around the anus);
- Rectal prolapse (small amount of rectal tissue pushes out through the anus); or
- Faecal impaction (mass of hardened stool that can’t be eliminated by a normal bowel movement)
Speak to your doctor if your constipation worsens – as these complications can be treated.
Common causes of and tips to managing constipation:
Not enough fibre in the diet: (3,4,8)
The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fibre and high in fats. Tip: Increase fibre in your diet to about 20-35 g per day.
Inadequate fluid intake or dehydration: (3,4,8)
Liquid adds fluids to the colon and bulk to the stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass.
Tip 1: Increase water intake by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Tip 2: Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, both of which contribute to dehydration.
Lack of physical exercise: (3,4)
Constipation can also occur during prolonged bed rest during a major illness or if you are bed ridden after an accident or operation. Physical activity helps the intestines to move stool along, so this lack of activity, along with medication and decreased food intake, all contribute to constipation. (16)
Tip: Exercise regularly to help the body and digestive system function optimally.
Medications: (3, 4)
Some medications may lead to constipation e.g. certain iron supplements or pain medications (i.e. opioids). (16)
Tip: Agiolax® may relieve the constipation caused by these medications.
Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement: (3,4)
Putting off a bowel movement can cause a vicious cycle. When you are constipated, you often have to strain, which could lead to complications. (16) This makes having a bowel movement painful and uncomfortable, so you put it off.
Tip: Take the time for bowel movements and visit the toilet after meals.
During pregnancy, gastrointestinal motility is inhibited. (5,10) Tip: Pregnant women could benefit from increasing their fibre and fluid intake, doing moderate forms of exercise and by making the time to go in the morning and after meals, when colonic motility is highest. (5, 8-10) Agiolax® can be used during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. For more see Constipation in pregnancy.
Ageing affects bowel regularity because of a slower metabolism, for more see Constipation in elderly.
Travelling can also result in constipation because one’s normal routine and diet have been disrupted. For more see Constipation while travelling.
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist as you might benefit from supplemental fibre or bulking agents.
Diabetics must please take note that 5 g of Agiolax® contains approximately 1,05 g sucrose.
In insulin-dependent diabetics it may be necessary to reduce the insulin dose. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Agiolax®.
Agiolax® can be purchased over-the-counter at your nearest pharmacy.