Laxatives (Aperients)

Last updated 20.09.12

 

Index

 

Definition

-  Medications used to aid the passage of stool

 

Features

-  Used for constipation, impacted faeces

 

Types

-  Bulking Agents

-  24-72hrs to effect

-  Mechanical distenstion & paralysis

-  Small & large bowel

-  Types

-   Methylcellulose

-   Wheat dextran

-   Isphaghula (Fybogel)

-   Psyllium (Metamucil)

-  Osmotic Agents

-  2-48hrs to effect

-  Careful use is CCF, ARF/CRF

-  Better for long term use

-  Need to be taken w food

-  Types

-   Lactulose

-   Polyethylese Glycol (PEG)

-   Avoid magnesium salts in pregnancy

-  Softening Agents

-  24-72hrs to effect

-  Types

-   Coloxyl (Docusate Sodium) +/- Senna)

-   Parafin

-  Stimulating Agents

-  PO: 6-12hrs to effect

-  Enema: minutes to effect

-  May cause abdominal cramps

-  Not used for obstruction

-  Types

-   Senna

-   Biscadoyl

 

Lactulose

-  Liquid

-  Osmotic laxative: 2-24hrs to effect

-  10-20ml PO Daily/BD

-  Increase freq if hepatic encephalopathy

-  Safe for short term use in DM as not absorbed

-  Avoid in galactosaemia

 

Polyethylene Glycol (Movicol)

-  Sachets

-  Osmotic laxative: 3-24hrs to effect

-  1-4 Sachet suppository or PO

-  Stronger than Coloxy & Senna or Lactulose

 

Microlax Enema (Sodium Salts)

-  Enema

-  Stimulant laxative

-  Works within minutes

-  1 suppository PR Daily

 

Fleet Enema (Phosphates)

-  Enema

-  Stimulant laxative

-  Works within minutes

-  1 suppository PR Daily