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1. a drug or agent for purging the bowels
2. causing evacuation of the bowels; cathartic



(also, depending on the substance used, laxative, cathartic, or aperient), a medicinal substance that increases the frequency and fluidity of stool, thus normalizing intestinal function in cases of constipation. In chemical composition, purgatives may be inorganic compounds, for example, such salts of alkali and alkaline-earth metals as sodium sulfate, Carlsbad salt artificial, and magnesium sulfate. They may also be organic compounds, for example, acids and such oils as mineral and castor oils. Some vegetation can also serve as purgatives, for example, powder of rhubarb.

The mechanism of purgative action varies. Rhubarb and phonolphthalein stimulate the chemoreceptors of the intestinal mucosa, and mineral and vegetable oils facilitate the movement of intestinal contents. Salt purgatives inhibit the absorption of water in the intestine, which increases the volume of intestinal contents and results in intensified peristalsis. The use of mineral waters as purgatives is based on the action of salts; mineral waters include the Slavianov, Morshin, Batalin, and the Izhevsk mineral waters. Closely related to salts in their action are substances that swell in water, such as linseed and sea kale.

Purgatives are used in cases of constipation and to remove poisons and poor-quality food products from the intestine (salt purgatives). The administration of purgatives is contraindi-cated in cases of intestinal inflammatory processes or pregnancy.


Mashkovskii, M. D. Lekarstvennye sredstva, 7th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
Group 1 (Pre-enema) patients were administered fleet enema by the rectal route at 10:00 AM before purgative administration, one day before the procedure.
Folklore: The latex of this plant possesses vesicant, wormicidal and purgative properties.
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If the calving has occurred unexpectedly, waste no time in giving a purgative.
MOVIPREP is unique among the available purgatives in that it is the only PEG cleansing agent that incorporates ascorbic acid in its formulation.
out of eight books on collecting and cooking wild plants three warned of the purgative properties of the elder stems; the others, more cooking oriented, made no mention of it.
And u nlike many Catholic treatises on prayer and the spiritual life, he does not relate prayer to the purgative, illuminative and unitive ways.
MoviPrep, unlike the current market-leading bowel prep, is the only two-liter purgative that eliminates the concomitant need for the laxative bisacodyl.
She can test herself by not taking a purgative for 24 hours, then eating 12-14 prunes (or six figs) one morning.
New Drug Applications (NDAs) for INKP-102, the next-generation tablet purgative product owned by our subsidiary, InKine; and NRL944, the liquid PEG purgative product acquired recently from Norgine, are under review at the U.
NASDAQ:SLXP) today announced that seven abstracts based on the results from two randomized, multicenter, investigator-blinded trials in approximately 1,000 patients comparing various dosing regimens of the Company's next-generation purgative product, INKP-102, to VISICOL(R) Tablets in adults undergoing colonoscopy will be presented at the American College of Gastroenterology 2005 Annual Scientific Meeting.
In the short term, we believe the combination should allow Salix to build value by leveraging its sales force and more rapidly penetrating the purgative market with VISICOL.