USUAL DOSE. Available in adult and
children sizes. Insert 1 suppository rectally as
needed. Retain for 15 minutes; it does not need
to melt to produce laxative action.
ACTION AND USE. Bisacodyl is a rela-
tively non-toxic irritant cathartic that reflexively
stimulates the. colon on contact. It usually pro-
duces softly formed stools in 6 to 12 hours and
is normally taken at bedtime. It is often used as
a preparatory agent prior to some surgeries and
USUAL DOSE. 10 to 30 mg in one dose for
adults. It is available in tablets and suppositories.
Magnesium Citrate (Citrate of Magnesia)
ACTION AND USE. Magnesium citrate is
a saline irritant laxative that also inhibits the ab-
sorption of water from the intestine. It is preferred
by radiology departments for use prior to special
USUAL DOSE. 200 ml in one dose is the of-
ficial recommendation. Magnesium citrate is most
often provided to the patient in a kit containing
10 fluid ounces of magnesium citrate, 2 tablets
of phenophthalein (a contact irritant) and a sup-
pository of either glycerin or bisacodyl.
Psyllium Hydrophilic Mucilloid
ACTION AND USE. This is a bulk laxative
that works by absorbing water. The effect occurs
within 12 to 72 hours. It is provided as a dry
powder that is stirred into water or fruit juice.
Drink immediately upon mixing while the material
is in suspension.
USUAL DOSE. One rounded teaspoonful
stirred or mixed with a glass of cool liquid or juice
one to three times daily.
Ducosate Calcium (Surfak)
ACTION AND USE. Ducosate calcium is
a stool softener that promotes water retention in
the fecal mass.
USUAL DOSE. 240 mg daily. For children,
give up to 100 mg daily.
Ducosate Sodium (Colace)
ACTION AND USE. This drug has the
same action as ducosate calcium.
USUAL DOSE. Adult dose ranges from 50
to 240 mg daily.
Kaolin Mixture with Pectin (Kaopectate)
ACTION AND USE. Kaolin mixture with
pectin is used in the symptomatic treatment of
diarrhea. The pectin portion absorbs excess fluid
and consolidates the stool. The kaolin portion ad-
sorbs irritants and forms a protective coating on
the intestinal mucosa.
USUAL DOSE. 30 ml after each bowel
Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride (Lomotil)
ACTION AND USE. Diphenoxylate hydro-
chloride is used for the symptomatic treatment of
diarrhea. It works by direct action on the smooth
muscles in the intestine reducing peristalsis and
intestinal motility. Because diphenoxylate is a
chemical analog of meperidine hydrochloride, it
is classed as a schedule V narcotic. To prevent
abuse, a sub-therapeutic amount of atropine is
USUAL DOSE. 1 or 2 tablets four times
daily until symptomatic control is achieved, then
the dose is reduced.
The kidney is the primary organ that excretes
water-soluble substances from the body. Diuretics
are agents that increase the rate of urine forma-
tion. The term diuresis has two separate connota-
tions: one refers to the net loss of solute and
water, the other to the increase in volume per se.
Sometimes maintenance of an adequate urine
volume is justification for using diuretics. The
most important indication is for the production
of a negative extracellular fluid balance. Diuretics
are useful in the treatment of hypertension,
edematous conditions, i.e., congestive heart fail-
ure, and acute pulmonary edema.