100 percent mineral oil is mainly used as a lubricant laxative for treating occasional constipation or stool impaction. It generally helps produce a bowel movement in six to eight hours. It is either given as an oral solution or a rectal enema.
How does mineral oil work as a lubricant?
Mineral oil acts as an emollient and moisturizes the intestine to facilitate stool passage. Although the stool passages through the colon portion of the intestine, mineral oil retards the absorption of water by the colon and other parts of the intestine. As a result, water lubricates the intestine for easy stool passage.
When should 100 percent mineral oil be avoided?
Oral mineral oil should be avoided in children younger than six years, whereas rectal enema should be avoided in kids younger than two years.
Mineral oil should be avoided or used with caution in the following conditions:
What are the side effects of using 100 percent mineral oil?
100 percent mineral oil may cause the following side effects in some:
You should stop taking mineral oil or consult a doctor if you experience these symptoms:
These could be signs of a severe underlying medical condition.
What care should be taken while taking mineral oil?
Below are some tips for using mineral oil cautiously:
- Take mineral oil during bedtime and avoid taking them with meals because it can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and lead to nutritional deficiencies.
- Take them with a glass full of water.
- Do not lie down immediately after taking mineral oil.
- Inhaling mineral oil may cause pneumonia. If you have accidentally inhaled mineral oils, get medical help.
- If you have difficulty swallowing, you shouldn’t use mineral oil.
- Do not use mineral oil for more than a week because it can be addictive.
- Never take them in conjunction with another stool softener.
- People with impaired respiratory function shouldn’t take mineral oil due to the risk of symptom worsening.
- Never give oral mineral oil to children younger than six years due to the risk of inhaling.
- Mineral oil may interact with dietary supplements such as vitamins A, D, E, and K; docusate sodium; warfarin, and estrogen. Hence, it is important to inform your doctor about your medications.
- Drink fluid as directed to prevent dehydration.
- If you experience loose stool or diarrhea, you can discontinue its use.
- Long-term use of mineral oil can damage the bowel, cause malnutrition, and imbalance of salt and water levels in the body.
- In case of an overdose, contact the poison control center or emergency room.
Medically Reviewed on 12/29/2021