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Drug Treatment of Constipation Problem

Drug Treatment of Constipation


A diet low in fiber, poor fluid intake, pregnancy, stress, inactivity … All these factors can cause constipation, a very annoying disorder that teach you how to avoid.

Drug treatment of constipation

In the event that the variations introduced nutritionally have not achieved the desired goal, you can resort to using laxatives as foreign aid to the problem of constipation.

Laxatives are agents that, through different mechanisms, achieve an increase in fecal (mechanical laxative) and / or facilitate the intestinal emptying, increasing peristalsis of the large intestine (contact laxatives or irritants).

Laxatives are always timely use once ruled that the origin of constipation is associated with a serious disease. Moreover, it is not advisable to use more than seven consecutive days in the case of natural laxatives because they can cause diarrhea, in addition to the constant use of laxatives causes habituation intestine, which eventually causes much greater problem constipation initially was intended to correct.

Contact laxatives

Act by causing a small irritation in the intestine involved, reflexively, it increased bowel motility facilitates the expulsion of fecal bolus. They take effect quickly (approximately two hours). Due to its mechanism of action is based on intestinal irritation, although this is very mild irritation, prolonged use (no more than 7 days) it is not recommended, being necessary insert rest periods; otherwise, it may appear tolerance (need to increase the dose to get the same result), dependence (the intestine gets used to the presence of these laxatives and if stopping its administration, a serious constipation develops) and in exceptional cases, can cause chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain. The main ones are:

Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum): root and rhizome prey.

Sen (Cassia senna and Cassia angustifolia) leaves are used.

Buckthorn (Rhamnus buckthorn): The powdered bark is used.

Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana): as in the case of the buckthorn, the powdered bark is used.

Aloe (Aloe Vera, Aloe ferox and Aloe barbadensis): juice obtained from the leaves used.

Castor bean (Ricinus communis) oil obtained from the extrusion of seeds (crushed seeds) is used. This oil is very rich in ricinoleic acid and derivatives isoricinoleico acid. It is the only contact laxatives acts on the small intestine, large intestine and not, as the above.

These laxatives are of choice in the event that the problem of constipation is accompanied by pain on defecation effort (hemorrhoids, anal fissure,). However, keep in mind that the use of these laxatives requires an increase in daily water intake so they can swell and perform its function, otherwise adsorbed water present in the large intestine and dry the dough intestinal, exacerbating the problem of constipation.

The effect of these laxatives usually occurs within 12-24 hours of taking the product, with a mild to moderate intensity. In case of chronic constipation can be precise few weeks of treatment to achieve the desired effect regularly.

Besides laxative effect have a satiating effect, to favor the feeling of fullness by increased mass of the stomach and to absorb the intestinal water, may be employed also in case of diarrhea, to remove excess intestinal fluid (intestinal regulators), but they should only be used in very exceptional cases for this condition, and never associated with an antidiarrheal.

However, these laxatives should not be used without prior professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

This group of laxatives encompasses

Different families of algae: Rich in alginic acid (brown algae of the family Fucus, Laminaria and Macrocistys, of the algal thallus are used) or carrageenan (mainly Chondrus crispus). Seaweed is rich in iodine, so caution should be exercised in the case of thyroid problems.

Psyllium (Plantago ovata): its seeds are used.

Psyllium (Plantago psyllium): Like Ispágula seeds are used.

Plantain: Unlike the above, all the aerial part of the plant is needed.

Flax: the seeds are used.

Mallow (Malva sylvestris): its flowers and leaves are utilized.

Altea (Althea officinal is): roots are used.

The recommended treatment Phytotherapy (with plants) constipation pattern, which has not submitted an adequate dietary treatment and changing daily habits, is:

Mechanical laxative use is encouraged.

Failure should be used laxatives Contact

Ultimately, we should value alternating contact laxatives mechanics.

In addition to natural laxative described, there are other laxatives on the market, effectiveness or above, but with greater risk of side effects from the most aggressive to the intestinal tract, which requires timely and its use only in cases where other laxatives have not worked, or in emergencies (enemas). Always follow professional advice and are, by their high risk of tolerance and dependence:

Emollient laxatives

Paraffin is used as treatment and prevention of constipation in patients who feel difficulty to make intensive efforts of defecation (hemorrhoids, anal fissures, postpartum …). It should be used for short periods, adjusting the dose to an outlet every 2-3 days. Although not absorbed at the gastric level, can facilitate the absorption of other managed products at the same time, and can cause a lack of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, E).Should not be given to children under 6 years, or bedridden patients or trouble swallowing.

Stimulant laxatives

They are very effective, but very irritating to the intestinal mucosa.Occasional use.

Bisacodyl: oral and rectal route.

Sodium picosulfate: allergy risk.

Osmotic laxatives

Good efficacy and safety profile. They cannot cause serious gastrointestinal discomfort and flatulence. Excessive doses can cause diarrhea.



Rectal laxatives

They are suppositories and enemas. Risk of rectal damage the irritant action of the drug itself, or during application. They are timely use.


Glycerol: Glycerin suppositories.

Enemas: are several components associated with evacuating intense action.

Other evacuants: are different on the market for oral administration prepared. Usually they used before a diagnostic test (colonoscopy, colonoscopy …), but occasionally used as evacuating in cases of very severe or severe constipation.

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