Taking these medications before you are about to go out can help you control the stool. For fecal incontinence, your doctor may prescribe medicine to treat or prevent diarrhea, decreasing the frequency or looseness of bowel movements. Taking these medicines before you are about to go out can help you control the stool.
- Loperamide (Imodium®): Over the counter medicine.
- Diphenoxylate and atropine (Lomotil®): Prescription medicine.
Other medicines that help with incontinence include enemas, which are performed prior to leaving the house. Emptying the rectum like this helps minimize the risk of stool being there to leak out while you are away from the toilet.
When fiber supplements are not enough, your doctor can recommend medications such as stool softeners or osmotic laxatives. And, if your constipation is linked with irritable bowel syndrome, additional prescription medicines may be needed.
Medicines for constipation include:
- Fiber (Metamucil®): Softens and increases bulk of stool.
- Stimulant Laxatives (senna, bisacodyl): Cause the bowel wall to contract more to move the stool along.
- Lubricants (mineral oil): Coat the wall of the bowel so the stool can pass more easily.
- Osmotic Laxatives (MiraLax®, lactulose): Work by drawing water back into the intestines.
- Saline Laxatives (milk of magnesia): Work by drawing water into the intestines.
- Stool Softener (docusate sodium): Allow water and fat to pass into stool to soften it, making bowel movements easier to pass.