Laxatives - lubricant laxatives


Lubricant laxatives include:

  • Mineral Oil


Taking mineral oil may deplete vitamin A, D, E and K.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Low levels of vitamin A may cause:

  • Night blindness
  • Rough and dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Dull hair
  • Broken nails
  • Increased risk of infections

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, along with calcium, keeps your bones strong and healthy.

Low levels of vitamin D may cause:

  • Increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Softening of the bones, called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults
  • Fractures even on minor injury
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Numbness or tingling in toes and feet

Vitamin E

It's rare to be deficient in vitamin E. Low levels of vitamin E may cause:

  • Diseases of the retina
  • Loss of coordination
  • Bone weakness
  • Unsteady way of walking

Vitamin K

The major symptom of vitamin K deficiency is that your blood does not clot as it should. Low levels of vitamin K may cause:

  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding even on minor injury
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nosebleeds

Women may have heavy periods.

Lack of vitamin K may also cause internal bleeding. This can be life threatening.

Editorial Note

The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be affected when you take certain medicines. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, it does not always mean you have low levels of these nutrients.

Factors that affect the level of nutrients are:

  • Your medical history
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • How long you have been taking the medicine

Please talk to your health care provider. They can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.

Supporting Research

Asiedu DK. Vitamin deficiency (Hypovitaminosis). In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:1359-1360.

Asiedu DK. Vitamin D deficiency. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:1357-1358.

Dominiczak MH, Broom JI. Vitamins and minerals. In: Baynes JW, Dominiczak MH, eds. Medical Biochemistry. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 11.

Gold Standard Drug Database. Drug Monograph: Mineral oil, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-1454. Accessed July 5, 2016.

Greenbaum LA. Vitamin E deficiency. In: In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 52.

Greenbaum LA. Vitamin K deficiency. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 53.

James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM. Nutritional diseases. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 22.

Shenkin A, Roberts NB. Vitamins and trace elements. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Bruns DE, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 31.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 9/19/2016
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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