By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy


Laxatives are drugs that change faecal consistency, speed the passage of faeces through the colon and aid in the elimination of stool from the rectum (Edmunds, 2003). They are used mainly to treat constipation and to prepare the bowel before surgery or investigative procedures. They may also be used in bowel training for patients who have lost neurogenic control of the bowel.

Get unlimited access

As a subscriber you will benefit from:

  • Full online and mobile access to news and opinion stories
  • Customised email alerts straight to your inbox (over 30 alerts available)
  • 4,500 practice articles in our archive 
  • Over £500 worth of CPD learning units