Stimulant laxatives are also known as contact laxatives and include the drugs that contain senna and bisacodyl. The mechanism of action of these agents is just beginning to be understood. For example, bisacodyl is believed to exert its laxative effect through stimulation of the myenteric plexus.
Other agents promote the accumulation of electrolytes and thus water in the GI lumen by affecting Na+/K+-ATPase. This class of laxatives is commonly used to treat acute constipation and usually produce a soft or semi-liquid stool in 6 to 12 hours. These agents are not recommended for daily use.
Prolonged use of senna-containing laxatives may lead to
Extra info: Chronic use of stimulant laxatives causes significant physiological alterations.