This drug class directly causes an irritation which then causes the intestinal mucosa to have a reflex reaction of peristalsis. Stimulants will work very quickly and work in a matter of 2-8 hours so it can work for acute constipation and to evacuate the bowels for exams. If too much peristalsis occurs, the patient may complain of cramping. This is also habit forming and very much abused.
- Irritates intestinal mucosa and stimulates peristalsis
- Onset: 2 to 8 hours
- Use: Acute constipation, preparation for exam
- Side effects
- habit forming
Senna (Senokot): People think this is the best way to go because it comes naturally from a plant. They think it’s not habit forming. There’s no difference between what’s in a tablet of Senna or a tea of Senna.
Cascara: It’s a very thick, black sludge that a person would drink that is sometimes mixed with milk of magnesia to have an effect
Bisacodyl (Dulcolax): Commonly seen in hospital, can be given as a tablet or suppository.