Laxatives pp 67-67 | Cite as


  • Francesco Capasso
  • Timothy S. Gaginella


The perception of the need for a regular bowel habit remains one of the reasons for the use of laxatives. Other reasons, such as the intake of food with a low fiber content, together with the lack of physical exercise, also contribute to the use of laxatives. Laxatives are frequently used as routine medication for patients in hospitals and are the most frequently prescribed drugs in long-term care facilities. However, they are of little use in the treatment of constipation due to organic causes or drugs. Nevertheless, today the use of laxatives is still valid in medicine. In the case of acute constipation, in some cases of chronic constipation (in order to accustom the patient to regulating the bowels), and in cases of constipation caused by atonia of the intestinal musculature, preference is given to anthraquinone laxatives (cascara, senna) because they are well tolerated and have a mild action.


Physical Exercise Chronic Constipation Renal Lesion Intestinal Surgery Heart Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Capasso
    • 1
  • Timothy S. Gaginella
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PharmacologyUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.School of PharmacyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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