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Mineral oil is used to treat constipation. It is known as a lubricant laxative. It works by keeping water in the stool and intestines. This helps to soften the stool and also makes it easier for stool to pass through the intestines.
This medication should not be used in older adults, children younger than 6 years, or in people who are bedridden.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Some brands require shaking the bottle well before each dose. Check your product package to see if your brand needs to be shaken.
Because this drug can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins (fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E, K), take this medication on an empty stomach. Also, do not take this medication for more than 7 days unless directed by your doctor.
Do not lie down right away after taking this medication.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed.
This product may decrease the absorption of other medications you may be taking. Take this product at least 2 hours from your other medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.
It may take 6 to 8 hours before this medication causes a bowel movement. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens, or if bleeding from the rectum occurs. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Mineral oil may leak from the rectum, especially when taken at high doses. The leakage may dirty clothes and cause irritation/itching around the anus. Lowering or dividing the dose may help decrease this problem. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: difficulty breathing, persistent cough.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking mineral oil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: difficulty swallowing, appendicitis or symptoms of appendicitis (such as nausea/vomiting, sudden or unexplained stomach/abdominal pain), a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for longer than 2 weeks, bleeding from the rectum, stomach problems (such as a hiatal hernia, gastroparesis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults are at a greater risk of accidentally inhaling this medication when trying to swallow it.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Using it for long periods is not recommended because of possible harm to the unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
See also How to Use Section.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), stool softeners (such as docusate).
This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If your doctor has directed you to take this medication on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Lifestyle changes that may prevent or relieve constipation include exercising, drinking enough water, and eating a proper diet with fiber-rich foods such as bran, fresh fruits/vegetables. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
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