Best OTC Drugs 2024

Best OTC Choices in Laxatives, Stimulant

Stimulant laxatives, also known as contact laxatives, work by stimulating the muscles in your gut to move the stool along to your back passage. They’re relatively slow-acting, requiring between six and twelve hours to do their work.

Here are Money’s picks for the best stimulant laxatives, along with information on their active ingredients and general notes about efficacy and side effects.

These products were selected by, using a methodology that combines expert assessment with analysis of online reviews, ratings and other customer information.

The information provided on is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The products featured may not be right for everyone and may carry risk even if available without a prescription. Read the product’s label and consult with a professional for individual medical advice.

Slide Table to Compare
Active Ingredients
Important Points
Carter's Little Pills Bisacodyl
  • Tablets
  • Sodium-free
  • Safe in people 6 years and older
  • Works within 6-12 hours
Dulcolax Laxative Tablets Bisacodyl
  • Works within 6-12 hours
  • Tablets
  • Safe in people 6 years and older
Ex-Lax Regular Strength Sennosides
  • Available in chewable chocolate pieces and tablets
  • Safe for people 6 years and older
  • Works within 6-12 hours
Fletcher's Gentle Laxative Senna pod concentrate
  • Liquid
  • Works as fast at 6 hours
  • Safe for people 2 years and older
Prunelax Regular Strength Tablets Sennosides
  • Tablets
  • Works within 8-12 hours
  • Safe for children 15 years and older
Senexon-S Docusate sodium Sennosides
  • Stool softener and stimulant
  • Tablets
  • Works within 6-12 hours
Senokot Regular Strength Sennosides
  • Safe in people 2 years and older
  • Works within 6-12 hours
  • Can take up to twice a day
Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxative Sennosides
  • Tablets
  • Works within 6-12 hours
  • Safe for people 6 years and older
No results match.

Featured drugs are available without a prescription in the U.S. and may not be available with or without a prescription in other locations.