laxative

(redirected from Laxatives)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Laxatives: Dulcolax

laxative,

drug or other substance used to stimulate the action of the intestines in eliminating waste from the body. The term laxative usually refers to a mild-acting substance; substances of increasingly drastic action are known as cathartics, purgatives, hydrogogues, and drastics, respectively. Laxatives or cathartics fall into three general categories: irritants that stimulate the muscular action of the intestines (cascara, phenolphthalein, senna); compounds that increase the amount of bulk in the intestines either by withdrawing water from the body (salines such as Epsom salts, citrate of magnesia) or by increasing the bulk when combined with fluids (agar-agar, bran, the various cellulose substances); and lubricants such as mineral oil, which ease the passage of waste and counteract excessive drying of the intestinal contents. Frequent or regular use of cathartics may seriously disrupt the natural digestive processes. When food and even waste products are forced out of the intestinal tract too rapidly, the body is deprived of vital substances, including the nutrients absorbed in the small intestine and the water, vitamins, and minerals extracted from the waste matter in the large intestine. Vitamins A and D, which are soluble in oil, are removed from the body even when the least irritating laxative, mineral oil, is taken. In addition to disrupting digestive and nutritional processes, laxatives reinforce the condition they are intended to overcome. When the intestines are purged, it may be several days before they can fill again with sufficient waste to induce natural elimination. The harm can be perpetuated by frequent use aimed at forcing daily elimination. The response to laxatives is soon lessened, so that larger and more frequent doses may become necessary. Laxatives should be avoided especially when there is abdominal pain. An inflamed appendix may rupture after the use of a laxative. See constipationconstipation,
infrequent or difficult passage of feces. Constipation may be caused by the lack of adequate roughage or fluid in the diet, prolonged physical inactivity, certain drugs, or emotional disturbance.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

laxative

[′lak·səd·iv]
(pharmacology)
An agent that stimulates bowel movement and relieves constipation.

laxative

an agent stimulating evacuation of faeces
References in periodicals archive ?
At her worst, Emma survived on just one apple and 150 laxatives a day as her weight plummeted close to four stone.
There is evidence that when this intervention is used in the management of chronic constipation it improves quality of life, reduces laxative use and improves frequency and consistency of bowel movements (Smith and Moss, 2008; Moss et al, 2007; Richards, 1998; Lamas et al, 2010).
Sarah was going into the local Tesco in her school uniform and buying packets and packets of laxatives without anyone asking any questions.
There are several risks linked with the use of laxatives in children, especially with this pharmacodynamic class (ESCOP, 2003; WGO, 2010).
The powerful laxative effect from ingesting unpurifled aloe vera products would make it obvious if that's what people were consuming," said Mr.
Anorectal manometry and a rectal balloon expulsion are indicated in those who fail to respond to laxatives but defecography only when anorectal manometry and a rectal balloon expulsion are inconclusive for defecatory disorders.
At first, laxatives seemed an easy solution to Richard's problems.
The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) issued guidance for England and Wales over the use of strong laxatives, which are prescribed to patients before they undergo bowel examinations or surgery.
Colonic irrigation, an oft-maligned technique for removing accumulated waste from the colon, is gaining recognition as an alternative to the harsh laxatives that prepare patients for colonoscopy.
Stimulant or osmotic laxatives also were identified as "likely be effective" for persistent constipation at the end of life.
Eating a poor diet, not drinking enough water, or using laxatives too often can be causes.