There have recently been reports of laxatives causing serious health problems. This can occur particularly if they are used incorrectly or by those who should not be using them. Constipation is a relatively common problem and one that can be avoided by sticking to a diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. This would give you the amount of fiber that is recommended and would help greatly in keeping bowel movements regular. When this alone doesn't work, then prunes or prune juice usually does the trick. When this also doesn't work and this problem occurs frequently, then a trip to your physician would be best. He or she may be able to identify changes in your diet that may help regularize your system.