Laxido vs Movicol - Review

Laxido vs Movicol – Expert Review for YOU

Laxido and Movicol are two popular brands of laxatives prescribed and sold over the counter in pharmacies. Both Laxido and Movicol belong to the same class of laxatives. Are they the same? Laxido vs Movicol highlights similarities and differences between both medicines.

Laxido & Movicol: mechanism of action

Movicol and laxido are classified as osmotic laxatives. Osmotic laxatives add ‘extra’ water into the bowels making the stool softer and consequently allowing easier passage. The main active ingredient which is found in both laxatives, macrogol 3350 also increases stool volume (EMC, 2022).

Osmotic laxatives do not give immediate relief from constipation. Some individuals may respond to the treatment in just one day, however, it may take two or three days to achieve the same result.

The legal classification of Laxido & Movicol

Laxido Orange - Laxido come only in one flavour

Laxido and Movicol are classified as pharmacy-only medicines (P). P medicines are only sold in pharmacies, including online pharmacies. Additionally, P medicines are kept away from the public i.e. not available for public self-selection. Children’s (paediatric) versions of both Laxido and Movicol are classified as a prescription-only medicine, which means a doctor or another prescribed needs to issue a prescription for supply to happen.

Movicol - most common version comes as Lime and Lemon

Are active ingredients the same in Laxido & Movicol?

The table below lists the main ingredients found in Laxido and Movicol:

Active ingredient Content per sachet
Macrogol 3350 13.125 g
Sodium chloride 0.3507 g
Sodium bicarbonate 0.1785 g
Potassium chloride 0.0466 g
Macrogol 3350 13.125 g
Sodium chloride 0.3507 g
Sodium bicarbonate 0.1785 g
Potassium chloride 0.0466 g

Source: EMC (2022)

Both Movicol and Laxido contain the same active ingredients. There are some differences in inactive ingredients between Movicol and Laxido, mainly due to the different flavours of each medication.

Laxido vs Movicol: age restrictions

When purchased over the counter, Laxido and Movicol can be used by adults and children over 12 years of age. Paediatric Movicol and Laxido need to be prescribed for children under 12 years of age.

Can you use Laxido or Movisol during pregnancy?

Licensing information for Laxido informs that Laxido can be used during pregnancy since macrogol 3350 (the main active ingredient) is not absorbed (taken in) by the body (EMC, 2022).

The same advice applies to Movicol.   

Laxido vs Movicol: product choice

Most commonly prescribed Laxido and Movicol comes in form of sachets. Each sachet is mixed with water before administration.

Laxido is only available in orange flavour, for adults and children over 12 years of age and as Laxido Paediatric, which comes as plain preparation (unflavoured).

Movicol has a slightly bigger range than Laxido. It comes as:

  • Movicol Lime and Lemon flavour, which is a standard formulation, is most commonly prescribed.
  • Movicol Plain
  • Movicol Chocolate
  • Movicol Paediatric Chocolate flavour
  • Movicol Paediatric Plain
  • Movicol liquid (orange flavour)
  • MOVICOL Ready to Take oral solution in sachet (strawberry and banana)

Laxido vs Movicol: Are side effects the same?

Both drugs can produce the same side effects. Most commonly gastrointestinal side effects may be experienced, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrohea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Flatulence
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal distension (expansion)

Laxido vs Movicol: price comparison

There is a considerable difference in the pricing of both Laxido and Movicol. Movicol is more expensive than Laxido. Customers should expect to pay around £14 for a box of 30 Movicol sachets and just over £7 for a box of 30 Laxido sachets. Movicol costs twice as much as Laxido.

Is Laxido better than Movicol for constipation?

Since both Movicol and Laxido have the same active ingredients, one should expect no difference in the effectiveness between both medicines.

Over the counter laxatives – alternative choices

Customers have a good choice of over the counter laxatives. Some laxatives were reviewed in related post – Laxido alternative medicines. CosmoCol, another brand of osmotic laxative contains the same active ingredients found in Laxido and Movicol.

One popular osmotic laxative which comes at a lower price when compared to Laxido or Movicol is lactulose. Lactulose is considered a gentle laxative, which can be used in adults, children and infants below 1 year of age.

The choice of laxative is usually driven by an individual’s urgency to relieve symptoms of constipation. Osmotic laxatives, such as Laxido and Movicol, may not be the fastest to work. Below is a short review of popular over the counter laxatives. You can find a comprehensive review of over the counter laxatives in a separate post. Common laxativescused for the treatment of constipation: 

  • Bulk-forming laxatives, with Fybogel being the most popular brand in this category. Bulk-forming laxatives are beneficial to people who lack fibre in their diet. Considered a gentle laxative. Bulk-forming laxatives do not work straight away.
  • Stimulant laxatives, with senna being a popular choice amongst customers. Senna is usually taken at night to give relief in the morning (takes 8-12 hours to work). Bisacodyl is another popular stimulant laxative. Bisacodyl takes 6-12 hours to work, except bisacodyl containing suppositories, which may give almost immediate effect. Stimulant laxatives are not considered as ‘gentle’ laxatives, as commonly can cause abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhoea and nausea.Glycerin suppositories also belong to a group of stimulant laxatives. Glycerin suppositories are one of the fastest working laxatives. It may only take 15-30 mins for glycerin suppositories to work.
  • Faecal softeners such as docusate sodium, also have stimulant properties. Docusate does not produce an immediate laxative effect. It may take 1-3 days to work.

The above laxatives may not be suitable for everyone or to treat drug-related constipation. A pharmacist can recommend the most suitable laxative.


Laxido and Movicol are two different brands of osmotic laxatives. Both medicines contain the same active ingredients and therefore expect to work in the same way. Out of the two, Laxido is available at a considerably lower price, when purchased over the counter.


EMC (2022). SmPC: Movicol. Available at: Accessed on 18/09/2022.

EMC (2022). SmPC: Laxido. Available at: Accessed on 20/09/2022


I am a qualified pharmacist working in an independent pharmacy in the UK.
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