PMID: 849815May 1, 1977Paper

Effect of bisacodyl on the structure and function of rodent and human intestine.

D R SaundersG N Tytgat


The effect of bisacodyl on intestinal structure and function was investigated. Net water transport was measured under steady state conditions in vivo during single pass infusions of rodent and of human intestinal segments. Each segment served as its own control. Bisacodyl inhibited water absorption in rat jejunum, ileum, and colon. The degree of inhibition was linearly related to the logarithm of the bisacodyl concentration over the range of 0.05 to 2.0 mg per 100 ml. In human jejunal segments, bisacodyl, 1 mg per 100 ml, caused net water secretion. Bisacodyl, 5 mg every 6 hr, increased ileostomy output by 15% when it was fed to 5 patients with established ileostomies. By light microscopy, bisacodyl, 2 mg per 100 ml, erased cytoplasmic and nuclear detail within surface absorptive cells of rat intestine. By electron microscopy, the involved cells contained sparse and abnormal cytoplasmic organelles and nuclei which were deficient in chromatin. These results suggest that the laxative effect of bisacodyl is related to its ability to inhibit intestinal water absorption. Reduced absorption may be secondary to changes in surface absorptive cells.

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