Why older people need to be extra cautious about over-the-counter drugs

Be cautious with: Stimulant laxatives such as bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax and generic) and senna (Ex-Lax, Senokot, and generic) can cause diarrhea and fluid loss if taken too often, Linnebur says. Stool softeners, such as docusate (Colace and generic), may work no better than placebos. For diarrhea, it’s best to avoid products with bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and generic). Salicylates are similar to aspirin, which can be a problem for older people, Linnebur says.

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