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castor oil (fleet flavored castor oil, kellogg's castor oil)

available over the counter: yes

uses: to relieve short term constipation

mechanism of action: stimulates muscle contraction in the walls of the bowel

side effects
• common:
laxative dependence, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea
• less common: fatigue, weakness
• serious: confusion, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps

concerns: do not take for more 3 to 5 days, unless your doctor advises

 

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