Laxative Drugs

Laxative Drugs:
• used for constipation
• mechanisms of action:
• bulk forming laxative – increase water content of stool (eg psyllium)
• lubricant laxative – increases water retention in stools (eg mineral oil)
• osmotic laxative – increase water content of stool (eg lactulose)
• saline cathartic laxatives – draw water into bowel (eg magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia), sodium phosphates)
• stimulant laxatives – stimulate peristalsis (eg bisacodyl, caster oil, senna)
• stool softeners – allow more fluid and fat into faeces (eg docusate calcium)
• adverse effects – nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, nutritional deficiencies

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