THE LAXATIVE ACTION OF SULPHATES
Various theories have been formulated in regard to the mode of action of those drugs which are familiarly known as laxatives or purgatives. Broadly speaking, they may be considered to behave in one of two ways: either they promote the motor functions of the bowel, and as the result of the heightened peristalsis cause the normally fluid contents of the intestine to be propelled to the rectum before the usual degree of concentration by absorption of water has taken place; or by some mechanism or other they permit a dilution of the intestinal contents whereby the latter remain more or less liquid or voluminous. In either case the end-effect is the same; for an undue accumulation of fluid masses in the intestine, whatever their origin may be, tends to bring about a vigorous reflex peristalsis whereby the bowel becomes emptied.There is no longer any
THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. JAMA. 1913;60(22):1706–1710. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340220030011
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