• General
  • Enemas
  • Suppositories

Frequently Asked Questions | General

What is constipation?
A division of the National Institutes of Health defines constipation as having a bowel movement fewer than three times a week. Stools are usually hard, dry, small in size and difficult to eliminate. People with constipation usually either have very large hard stools or hard pellet like stools. Bowel movements are infrequent and often painful.

Bowel Movement - The discharge of waste matter (feces) through the rectum and anus; defecation.

Feces (Fecal) – Waste product stored in the rectum and excreted through the anus.

What causes constipation?
Lots of things can cause constipation. Common causes include: not getting enough fiber, fluids or insufficient exercise. However, constipation can also result from a more serious medical condition.

Fiber – Indigestible parts of grains, fruits, and vegetables that contain cellulose. Fiber helps to bulk up stool, absorb water, and facilitate bowel movement.

How do I help prevent constipation?
There are several things you can do to help prevent constipation. Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. You also need to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of exercise.

How much fiber do you need per day?
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends 38 grams of fiber for adult men and 25 grams of fiber for adult women.

What are the different categories of laxatives?
Laxatives are grouped into the following categories:

Rectum (Rectal) - The last section of the large intestine where feces are stored before defecation, it extends from the colon to the anus.

Intestines – The lower part of the digestive system where food and water are absorbed and waste material turned into feces for excretion. It consists of the small and large intestine.

  • Bulk-forming: An agent that increases bulk volume and water content of the stool, which then promotes bowel movement.
  • Carbon dioxide-releasing: A suppository agent that contains ingredients that release carbon dioxide, which then induces gentle pressure in the rectum and promotes bowel movement.
  • Hyperosmotic: An agent that attracts water into the stool and promotes bowel movement. For example, Fleet Liquid Glycerin and Glycerin Suppositories.
  • Lubricant: An agent that lubricates the contents of the intestinal tract, which promotes bowel movement. For example, Fleet Mineral Oil Enema.
  • Saline: An agent that increases water in the intestine, which promotes bowel movement. For example, Fleet Enema.
  • Stimulant : An agent that promotes bowel movement by directly acting on the intestine. For example, Fleet Bisacodyl Enema and Fleet Bisacodyl Tablets.
  • Stool softener: An agent that penetrates and softens stool, which promotes bowel movement. For example, Fleet Sof-Lax Stool Softener.

Suppository - A solid cone or cylinder-shaped medication, designed to be inserted into the rectum. As the suppository dissolves, which may or may not be noticeable to the user, the medicine causes a bowel movement. See also Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories.

Laxative – A medication that stimulates bowel movement to relieve occasional constipation, could be administered orally or rectally.

*Source: Young, Frank E.; Heckler, Margaret M. PA OTC Compilation, Part I. Federal Register Vol. 50:No.10, 106-113, January 15, 1985.

Which laxative is right for you?
Laxatives are chosen by individual preference or at the recommendation of your physician.

For constipation, why choose enemas vs. oral vs. suppositories?
Rectal laxatives provide immediate relief and are a good alternative for someone who cannot take oral medication. Enemas work in 5 minutes or less, while suppositories work within an hour. Oral laxatives work over a longer period of time and can be used when immediate relief is not necessary. Oral laxatives' time of relief varies, but many work overnight.

Oral – Administered or taken through the mouth.

Enema - The introduction of liquid into the rectum to stimulate bowel movement or for bowel cleansing.

Are all Fleet products doctor-recommended?
Fleet is proud to be the #1 doctor-recommended laxative brand. Although enemas and suppositories are often doctor-recommended, since our products are over-the-counter, it is not necessary to have a doctor prescribe the type of laxative best suited to your needs. In fact, many people learn about Fleet laxatives from their family and friends.

Are Fleet laxatives gluten-free?
Yes, all Fleet laxatives are gluten-free.

Gluten – A mixture of plant proteins found in cereal grains such as corn and wheat, and that gives dough its cohesiveness. Some individuals may be sensitive (or allergic) to gluten.

Can I give my child Fleet products?
We recommend using Fleet's line of products designed especially for children.
For more information, please visit www.pedia-lax.com.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions | Enemas

What is an enema?
An enema is a delivery method that introduces a volume of liquid into the rectum. Enemas can act as a laxative and can be used for the relief of constipation. Enemas can be used prior to a medical procedure when prescribed by your doctor. Non-medicated enemas can be used for elective rectal cleansing. All enemas should be administered rectally, NOT orally.

Rectum (Rectal) - The last section of the large intestine where feces are stored before defecation, it extends from the colon to the anus.

Oral – Administered or taken through the mouth.

Laxative – A medication that stimulates bowel movement to relieve occasional constipation, could be administered orally or rectally.

How long does it take a Fleet laxative enema to relieve constipation?
Results will vary, but it usually begins to work within five minutes.

How long should you hold the liquid in your rectum before you use the bathroom?
Attempt to hold the enema solution until the urge to evacuate is strong, but no longer than 10 minutes.

Can I use the enema more than once?
No, the enema is disposable and designed to be used only once.

Where should the enema be inserted?
The enema should be inserted into the rectum and nowhere else.

The box states that the tip of the enema is lubricated. What is it lubricated with and why?
The tips of the Fleet Saline Enemas, Mineral Oil Enemas and Bisacodyl enemas are lubricated with petroleum jelly to ease insertion into the rectum. The tips of the Fleet Naturals Cleansing Enema contains a water-based lubricant to ease insertion into the rectum.

Rectum (Rectal) - The last section of the large intestine where feces are stored before defecation, it extends from the colon to the anus.

What position is best for insertion of an enema?
The best positions are either lying down on your left side or a knee-chest position. View Diagram.

Do Fleet enemas contain latex?
All Fleet products are latex-free.

Bowel Movement - The discharge of waste matter (feces) through the rectum and anus; defecation.

Latex – A rubber material derived from the milky sap of rubber trees. All Fleet products are Latex-Free.

Fleet Enema (Saline)

How often can an enema be used to relieve symptoms?
The enema can be used up to seven days in a row before consulting a physician. If you have not received relief after seven days of use, please contact your doctor. Using more than one enema within 24 hours can be harmful.

What's the difference between Fleet Enema EXTRA® and Fleet Enema?
Fleet Enema EXTRA contains 70% more volume than Fleet Enema for extra cleansing and relief.

What should I do if I administer an enema and it does not work?
If there is no bowel movement after 30 minutes, consult your physician.

Can a Fleet enema be used for a child?
Adult-sized enemas should not be used for children under age 12. Use Pedia-Lax® Enema for Children or check out the rest of the Pedia-Lax line at www.pedia-lax.com. CHILDREN UNDER TWO SHOULD NEVER BE GIVEN AN ENEMA.

Fleet Mineral Oil Enema

What are the benefits of using mineral oil when using an enema?
Mineral oil helps lubricate and soften the stool. Fleet Mineral Oil Enema is sodium-free.

Fleet Bisacodyl Enema

What are the benefits of using bisacodyl when using an enema?
Bisacodyl is a stimulant laxative that works directly on the intestine, which causes a bowel movement to occur. Fleet Bisacodyl Enema is sodium-free.

Intestines – The lower part of the digestive system where food and water are absorbed and waste material turned into feces for excretion. It consists of the small and large intestine.

Fleet Naturals Cleansing Enema

What is the difference between a cleansing enema, like Fleet Naturals, and a regular laxative enema?
Fleet Naturals is a non-medicated Cleansing Enema designed for personal cleansing at home. Fleet Naturals is intended for safe use whenever you want to feel fresh and clean. To learn more about Fleet Naturals click here. Fleet Laxative Enemas are used to relieve occasional constipation, or may be recommended by your physician.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions | Suppositories

What is a suppository?
A solid cone or cylinder-shaped medication, designed to be inserted into the rectum.

Laxative – A medication that stimulates bowel movement to relieve occasional constipation, could be administered orally or rectally.

Rectum (Rectal) - The last section of the large intestine where feces are stored before defecation, it extends from the colon to the anus.

Rectum (Rectal) - The last section of the large intestine where feces are stored before defecation, it extends from the colon to the anus.

How does the suppository work?
The suppository draws water into the stool, thus softening the stool and helping to cause bowel movement.

Bowel Movement - The discharge of waste matter (feces) through the rectum and anus; defecation.

How long does it take for a suppository to relieve constipation?
A suppository generally works within 15 minutes to an hour.

Can suppositories be used on children?
Use Pedia-Lax® glycerin suppositories.  Pedia-lax is the first complete line of laxative formulated just for kids. For more information, please visit www.pedia-lax.com.

Glycerin – A colorless, odorless, sticky liquid that is a hyperosmotic laxative; it attracts water into the stool and promotes bowel movement.

Is it necessary for the suppository to melt in order to be effective?
No, the suppository does not need to melt in order to be effective. The suppository is designed to partially dissolve, which may or may not be noticeable.

How do you insert a suppository?
Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum. Push the suppository in as far as the length of your finger. Please note, Fleet also makes Liquid Glycerin Suppositories that come in a convenient no-mess applicator, thus eliminating the need to use your finger.

What is the best way to store the suppositories?
The best place to store the suppositories is in a cool, dry place. They can also be refrigerated. Since the suppository is designed to dissolve, if it becomes warm, it will start to dissolve.

What is the benefit of using a glycerin suppository?
Glycerin suppositories are used for fast, predictable relief of occasional constipation.

What's the difference between the Fleet Glycerin Suppositories and the Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppositories?
Unlike Fleet Glycerin Suppositories, Liquid Glycerin Suppositories provide:

  • No-mess application
  • Faster delivery, so there's no need to wait for the suppository to dissolve

Does the Fleet Liquid Glycerin Suppository bulb need to be empty in order to be effective?
No. Even though a small amount of liquid may be left in the applicator, there is plenty of glycerin in the suppository to ensure that it is effective.

What is the benefit of using a bisacodyl suppository?
Bisacodyl suppositories generally produce a bowel movement in 15 minutes to an hour by directly acting on the intestine, thus causing a bowel movement to occur.

Intestines – The lower part of the digestive system where food and water are absorbed and waste material turned into feces for excretion. It consists of the small and large intestine.

 

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