ATC Group: A06AD Osmotically acting laxatives

The World Health Organization's ATC classification organizes medical drugs based on therapeutic properties, chemical composition, and anatomy. It helps make essential medicines readily available globally and is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Position of A06AD in the ATC hierarchy

Level
Code
Title
1
Alimentary tract and metabolism
2
Laxatives
3
Laxatives
4
A06AD
Osmotically acting laxatives

Group A06AD contents

Code
Title
Magnesium carbonate
Magnesium oxide
Magnesium peroxide
Magnesium sulfate
Mineral salts in combination
Lactulose
Lactitol
Sodium sulfate
Pentaerithrityl
Macrogol
Mannitol
Sodium phosphate
Sorbitol
Magnesium citrate
Sodium tartrate
Lactulose, combinations
Macrogol, combinations

Active ingredients in A06AD

Active Ingredient
Description

Lactitol is a sugar alcohol used as a replacement bulk sweetener for low calorie foods with approximately 40% of the sweetness of sugar. Lactitol also promotes colon health as a prebiotic. Lactitol is a laxative and is used to prevent or treat constipation.

Lactulose is a synthetic disaccharide which is metabolised by gastro-intestinal bacterial flora to low molecular weight acids (chiefly lactic and acetic acids). There is no endogenous metabolising enzyme in the human gut. Its mode of action in constipation is as an osmotic agent producing soft stools.

High molecular weight (4000) macrogols are long linear polymers which retain water molecules by means of hydrogen bonds. When administered by the oral route, they lead to an increase in volume of intestinal fluids.

Magnesium carbonate, MgCO3 (archaic name magnesia alba), is an inorganic salt. The most common magnesium carbonate forms are the anhydrous salt called magnesite (MgCO3) and the di, tri, and pentahydrates known as barringtonite (MgCO3·2 H2O), nesquehonite (MgCO3·3 H2O), and lansfordite (MgCO3·5 H2O), respectively. The primary use of magnesium carbonate is the production of magnesium oxide by calcining.

Magnesium oxide (MgO), or magnesia, is an empirical formula of MgO and consists of a lattice of Mg2+ ions and O2− ions held together by ionic bonding.

Magnesium sulfate is a saline purgative. It can be employed locally in various inflammatory conditions, due to its osmotic action.

Mannitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol used clinically primarily for its osmotic diuretic properties.

Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous is the anhydrous, sodium salt form of sulfuric acid. Sodium sulfate anhydrous disassociates in water to provide sodium ions and sulfate ions. Sodium ion is the principal cation of the extracellular fluid and plays a large part in the therapy of fluid and electrolyte disturbances. Sodium sulfate anhydrous is an electrolyte replenisher and is used in isosmotic solutions so that administration does not disturb normal electrolyte balance and does not lead to absorption or excretion of water and ions.

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