laxative


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to laxative: laxative drugs

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 ?
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).
In France, populations susceptible to misuse laxative products are in some extent protected by the drug status of these over-thecounter products, as they are deli vered by a pharmacist or under the supervision of a pharmacist only.
The powerful laxative effect from ingesting unpurifled aloe vera products would make it obvious if that's what people were consuming," said Mr.
It turned out to be a laxative, explained defending solicitor Stephen Edwards.
In an attempt to control his weight, Richard, who lives in Borth, Ceredigion, has used laxatives and exercise to allow him to binge on the junk foods he has craved since 2007.
Colonic irrigation is also easier on patients' systems than drinking a gallon of laxative solution.
When you're constipated and feel just awful all over, take Carters Little lira Pills-the laxative Plus.
Too much mineral oil, another popular laxative, can lower your body's ability to use key vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
3) In research on 275 bulimic outpatients, 20% reported daily laxative use to control weight and 61% had used laxatives at some point during their illness.
A: Unfortunately, you're experiencing the all-too-common consequences from laxative abuse.
As with other forms of factitious disease, diagnosis of surreptitious laxative ingestion is difficult and often delayed for many years (3, 7-12).