Evacuants may be classified conveniently for study as follows: (1) those acting mainly on the small intestine; (2) those acting mainly on the colon; (3) those acting on the small and large intestines including alkaloidal evacuants; (4) those acting on the rectum; (5) miscellaneous measures for inducing purgation.
1. EVACUANTS ACTING MAINLY ON THE SMALL INTESTINE
Neutral fats and saponifiable oils like butter and olive oil pass practically unchanged through the stomach, but are saponified more or less completely in the small intestine, and the resulting soaps may be suffciently irritating to the intestinal mucous membrane to cause increased peristalsis and with an excess of the fat or oil act as a mild laxative.Castor oil, which consists largely of ricinolein, yields a soap that is much more irritating and prompt in its action. The direct influence of the irritation is usually limited wholly or mainly
PRACTICAL PHARMACOLOGY. JAMA. 1915;LXIV(23):1910-1913. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.25710490003014