By Dr Stephen Lutoti
Laxatives are medicines used as short term treatment of constipation, evacuation of the colon for bowel and rectal examination, faecal impaction, prophylactically in patients who should not strain during defaecation, haemorrhoids, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, pre-operative bowel evacuation, preparation for barium e enema.
Laxatives are categorized as follows:
✓ *Bulk forming laxatives*:
These increase feacal mass, which stimulates peristalysis. They are preferable for long term use. Their full effect takes some days to develop. Examples of bulk forming laxatives include Methyl cellulose, psyllium , ispaghula, sterculia and bra.
✓ *Stimulant laxatives* : these increase intestinal motility and though preferred to treat constipation, they often cause abdominal cramps. Preferably, they should be avoided in Children. Examples include bisacodyl , phenophthalein, caster oil, Docusate sodium, glycerin, cascara, frangula and Senna.
✓ *Feacal softeners* :
These lubricate impacted feaces and promote bowel action. Example Liquid paraffin and Arachis oil . Please don’t use liquid paraffin over long time and avoid in Children under 3 years.
✓ *Osmotic laxatives*
These promote bowel output by an osmotic effect. Examples include Lactulose, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium sulphate, Macrogols , phosphate enema, Glycerin.
✓ *Carbon dioxide releasing laxatives*
They release carbon dioxide that induces gentle pressure in the rectum thus promoting bowel movement. Examples of carbondioxide releasing laxatives Potassium potassium bitartrate and Sodium bicarbonate.
At Eloipharm, we have standardized Extracts of _Secamone africana_ and _Aloe barbadensis_ for constipation and deworming purposes. We have Elolax for you and family.
# Choose Elocof syrup for coughs , flu and sore throats in Children and adults . Elocof Available in leading Pharmacies clinics and drug shops across Uganda. Ask for ELOCOF. Further Inquiries on Elocof call 0758329111.