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Excipient induced laxative thresholds

02 November 2023
Volume 5 · Issue 11

Check your answers on page 48210.12968/jprp.2023.5.11.454

All medications designed for administration necessarily contain additional ingredients in their formulation to provide characteristics to produce a usable dosage form. These can be relatively few in the case of injectable medications or increasingly complex for other routes, particularly oral liquids which may require several compounds to improve stability or palatability. Some additives are included for a single reason; e.g. a flavouring, but other compounds may perform several roles. Sometimes, the additives can also provide physiological effects in their own right, which may be helpful or a hindrance depending on the clinical situation.

Polyols may commonly be found in oral liquid preparations where they can act as humectants, sugar sparing sweeteners and viscosity modifiers. Being poorly absorbed but osmotically active they also have the chance of causing osmotic effects in the gut, which can lead to a laxative effect if present in sufficient quantities. Examples of polyols commonly encountered in medications and foods include sorbitol, maltitol and xylitol.

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