This site is intended for UK healthcare professionals
Medscape UK Univadis Logo
Medscape UK Univadis Logo

Liquid paraffin oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Stool softeners


Oral formulations of liquid paraffin.

Drugs List

  • liquid paraffin liquid
  • Therapeutic Indications





    10ml to 30ml when required.


    Children aged over 3 years
    5ml to 20ml when required.


    Abdominal pain of unknown cause
    Children under 3 years

    Precautions and Warnings


    Do not use and consult doctor if difficulty in swallowing
    Avoid prolonged use
    Liquid paraffin impairs the absorption of fat soluble vitamins
    Advise patient to avoid taking immediately before going to bed

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Use liquid paraffin with caution during pregnancy.

    The manufacturer advises that as with all medicines avoid liquid paraffin in early pregnancy.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Use liquid paraffin with caution during breastfeeding.

    The manufacturer advises that as with all medicines avoid liquid paraffin in breastfeeding.

    The UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service consider that there is minimal absorption of liquid paraffin from the infant's GI tract and that liquid paraffin is usually compatible with breastfeeding.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Anal irritation
    Anal seepage
    Granulomatous reactions
    Interference with absorption of fat soluble vitamins
    Lipoid pneumonia


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: September 2015

    Reference Sources

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Liquid Paraffin BP. Bell, Sons & Co. Revised September 2016.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Liquid Paraffin BP. Thornton & Ross Ltd. Revised April 2015.

    UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service.
    Available at:
    Last accessed: 25 September 2015

    Access the full UK drug database with a FREE Medscape UK Account
    It takes just a few minutes, and you’ll get unlimited access to information on over 11,000 UK drugs.
    Register for Free

    Already a member? Log in

    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

    FDB Logo

    FDB Disclaimer : FDB Multilex is intended for the use of healthcare professionals and is provided on the basis that the healthcare professionals will retain FULL and SOLE responsibility for deciding what treatment to prescribe or dispense for any particular patient or circumstance.