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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 ?
Risk factors for phosphate nephropathy in these patients are high basal serum phosphate levels, increased bowel transit time, need for high purgative dosages, increased tubular phosphate re-absorption, advanced age and the concurrent administration of some drugs.
is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company with two late-stage clinical compounds: a purgative product for colonoscopies and other procedures and uses; and a steroid molecule for treatment of ITP.
It is believed that this pressure simulated a full udder and stimulated the brain to purgative action in the rest of the body.
MOVIPREP is unique among the available purgatives in that it is the only PEG cleansing agent that incorporates ascorbic acid in its formulation.
Patent Number 5,616,364, which encompasses orally administered sodium phosphate salt compositions for inducing purgation of the colon, this patent enhances InKine's patent position with respect to non-aqueous colonic purgative salt compositions.
One thinks of Hiorns's Vauxhall, 2003, recently installed outside Tate Britain, in which purgative flames belched up continuously from a grate; also of the burning of medieval churches, many of whose altarpieces were made from alabaster.
IT sounds as if you're caught in a vicious circle because the more you use purgative medicines, the more your bowel comes to rely on them and the lazier it gets.
The company's lead product, Visicol(TM) was approved by the FDA in September 2000 and is the first and only tablet purgative preparation indicated for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy.
His sceptical mind and loathing for cant were a welcome purgative to the academic conversations going on around me.
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.