Laxatives, purgatives, or aperients are substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movements. They are used to treat and prevent constipation.
Laxatives vary as to how they work and the side effects they may have. Certain stimulant, lubricant and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under certain circumstances. Sufficiently high doses of laxatives may cause diarrhea.
Some laxatives combine more than one active ingredient.
Laxatives may be administered orally or rectally.
Relating to or concerning existent materials; physical.
A medicine or drug, especially a cathartic or purgative.
The art or profession of healing disease; medicine.
Natural philosophy; physics.
To cure or heal.
To administer medicine to, especially a purgative.
Having the effect of moving the bowels, or aiding digestion and preventing constipation.
Any substance, such as a food or in the form of a medicine which has a laxative effect.