Macrogol – an effective osmotic laxative

Constipation is a distressing condition that affects 12% of the global population. It can be caused by many factors – from a diet low in fiber, to lack of exercise, to pregnancy. Furthermore, if constipation becomes chronic, it can painfully persist for several months.

Laxatives are designed to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of constipation and can work in a number of ways, including emollient, contact, bulk-forming and osmotic mechanisms. Given this variety, different laxatives can also trigger a range of side effects in the human body. A highly effective way to treat constipation that aims to minimize any side-effects is an osmotic laxative known as macrogol.

Macrogol can be prepared as a pleasant-tasting instant drink (= powder for oral solution). Macrogol particles bind to water molecules in the drink and transport these water molecules to the colon.

In the colon, water molecules retained by the macrogol particles help to soften and lubricate stools and increase stool volume slightly. The small increase in stool volume stimulates colonic peristalsis, moving the softened stools towards the bowel.

This initiates the defecation reflex, relieving patients of constipation.

As opposed to other osmotic laxatives, macrogol does not lead to habituation and offers a range of other benefits. For example, it does not require water to be drawn into the colon from surrounding tissues, and therefore prevents dehydration. At the same time, mean stool frequency is higher than with other laxatives, while straining required to pass stools is lower.

The range of patients that macrogol can help is vast. It is safe for pediatric use, with special preparations available for children as young as two, while pregnant and breast-feeding women can also benefit from short-term treatments. Macrogol is also recommended for patients with conditions like cardiovascular disease or renal impairments, who are unable to take many other osmotic laxatives.

Lastly, unlike the side-effects of other laxatives, macrogol:

  • Minimizes the risk of stomach pain
  • Can be combined with electrolytes to ensure minimal ion loss
  • Has no effect on nutrient absorption
  • Is effective throughout the colon
  • Does not cause bloating
  • Does not cause colon acidification

Available in a variety of pleasant flavors to enhance patient experience, macrogol is a safe and effective laxative that relieves the uncomfortable symptoms of constipation. Unflavored versions are also available, which can be stirred into juice or other liquids.

how to make macrogol a part of your product offering

HERMES PHARMA offers a range of macrogol products ready for in-licensing. Our years of technical expertise, competitive pricing and supply security will ensure you gain immediate access to high-quality products that meet all of your needs and those of your customers. As we manufacture our products primarily in Austria, an additional EU market release is not necessary. What’s more, as macrogol has a physical mode of action, it is classified as a medical device, so time to market is further accelerated.

To learn more about the macrogol products we currently have available for you to in-license, discover the Digestive Health section in  our Product & Development Portfolio. (Please note, download requires registration of contact details.)

If you are interested in other active ingredients, nutrients, indications or fully customized products, please contact us.