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Dulcolax and withholding

I gave my son a tiny amount of Dulcolax (1mls) as he was so ill on 5mils. He’s also suppose to have movicol everyday but for some reason he’s refusing it point blank, we can’t convince him. I feel stuck as he’s in agony from withholding. He’s managed to pass the big bulk but woke up screaming this morning with stomach cramps, I can’t send him to school like this. He’s only 4. Any substitutes for Dulcolax but a softer version? Should I try him on lactoluse while he’s refusing movi?

4 Replies

It depends on the hardness of the stool tbh. I found lactulose can prompt a movement, but doesn't soften much. As a result it made my daughter worse long term in terms of fear of pooing as it caused her painful motions.

We have found that on days she just will not push (but bear in mind she DOES drink her movicol so her stools might be soft) giving 1 x Ellas Kitchen Prunes Prunes Prunes then 1 x Ellas Kitchen Mangoes Mangoes Mangoes, a spoon of lactulose and a warm bath/tummy massage causes lots of parps and urges! But this is with already soft poo.

I let her go in a nappy too - have you tried that? Apparently it feels nicer and at home most Drs say why not, better than being bunged up.

Syrup of figs can help - Boots have some over the counter with a small amount of senna in it (cannot find online) or Calfig is the big brand.

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Thank you. Yea I’ve done the Califig. He always wears a nappy for poos as he won’t use the toilet. He’s very ocd when it comes to food so we are stuck. I just feel we hit a wall each time x


In my experience lactulose doesn't work, just makes things worse as its not enough for children with real problems. My daughter had from being a baby until she was put on movicol at 18 months. If she didn't spend all that time in agony trying to poo out huge poos every three days on lactulose we wouldn't be where we are now at 4.5!

We have just been prescribed dulcolax on friday by constipation nurse, but im only giving it after she has had 8 sachets of movicol per day to soften it 1st and then the dulcolax to get the bowel moving again. We started her on 1ml (not 2.5ml as prescribed) and moving up by .5 per day depending on results and side effects ( the online reviews for this stuff are horrifying!)

I asked for senna, I think it is a similar type of laxative? But they said they prescribe Dulcolax instead? Have you tried everything to get the movicol in? chocolate milk, apple juice, loads of blackcurrant squash, spliting the dose over a couple of drinks etc I have found over the last week that there is a right amount of blackcurrant squash to just hide the taste of the salty movicol and I can get 2 x sachets in one go if I taste it until just right really sickly but she will drink it!

Good Luck x


Hi, thank you for your reply. Yes we have tried so many things, but it’s hard as he’s so funny and ocd with foods. We try our best to keep him off milk as he has an intolerance to it. He’s just refusing, even when he’s at his worse 😔 I bought senna and lactoluse after speaking to his paediatrician as he’s not taking anything. The Dulcolax doesn’t agree with him, they wanted him on 15mls , he can’t cope on just 1mils 😔 Hoping to start him on the lactulose after school. We’ll have a fight on our hands though. We are trying to make him drink extra water and reach his 5 a day in the hope that will help towards softening. If this doesn’t work I don’t know what we’ll do. I don’t feel happy giving him senna every day but feel well have no choice. I’ve heard in forums of talking therapy being used, not sure what it is though x


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