This is literally like putting oil in the intestinal tract and letting things slide right out. The example of this is mineral oil. It works fairly quickly, in 6-8 hours. It can be used acutely and for chronic constipation and it’s definitely habit forming. Since were putting oil on the intestinal tract, it makes absorption of fat difficult so you can’t consume fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) or administer fat soluble drugs (e.g. beta blockers, cardiac glycosides, etc).
This is not a good choice to give at bed time. Oil will travel in the way of gravity. Most people tend to sleep lying down which means when a person goes to bed the oil may comes back up and go into the lungs, causing aspiration (and then pneumonia!).
- Lubricates intestinal lumen
- Onset: 6 to 8 hours
- Use: acute and chronic constipation
- Example: Mineral oil
- Side Effects
- Habit Forming
- Decreases absorption of fats and fat soluble medications
- Aspiration pneumonitis if taken at bedtime