With few exceptions (mechanical obstruction, neurological disorders, drug effects), the initial management approach is to modify lifestyle especially in regard to fluid and dietary fiber intake, and to increase physical activity. If laxatives are to be used, bulking agents, osmotic substances or disaccharides should be preferred. Self-medication very predominantly involves the use of stimulant laxatives which, contrary to their intended purpose, are usually taken continuously. Laxatives along with analgesics are drugs most frequently used by patients without consulting their physician. These laxatives should be discontinued gradually and replaced by osmotic laxatives such as lactulose.