The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S., defines constipation as “a condition in which you have fewer than three bowel movements a week, or hard, dry, and small bowel movements that are painful or difficult to pass.” Constipation is classified into two categories: functional constipation and secondary constipation. Functional constipation is further categorized into normal transit, slow transit, and outlet constipation; secondary constipation is caused by external medical conditions or the intake of certain medications. Prime risk factors associated with constipation include age, low-calorie, and low-fiber food intake, changes in routine, and taking excessive amounts of medications such as antidepressants, painkillers, and hypertension drugs, among others.
Treatment for constipation may include changes in dietary intake and nutrition, lifestyle changes, and medication. Bulk-forming laxatives, osmotic laxatives, lubricants, stimulant laxatives, and others are the laxative types preferred for medically treating constipation. Saline laxatives are a section of osmotic laxatives where the active ingredients are magnesium, sulfate, citrate, and phosphate ions.
For the purpose of this study, the global saline laxatives market is studied for drugs and prescription types. Magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide, and sodium phosphate are the major saline laxative drugs studied in this report. Further, this market is also studied based on their prescription and over-the-counter sales.
Based on geographic distribution, the major regions and country-level markets are categorized as follows:
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- Rest of Asia-Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East and Africa
- GCC Countries
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East and Africa
Market size and forecast for each segmentation level are incorporated in this study for the period 2014–2022, along with respective compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for the forecast period 2016–2022, considering 2015 as the base year.
Along with market assessment in terms of historical, current, and future market sizes, qualitative information sets such as market dynamics (drivers, challenges, and opportunities) and an executive summary of the global saline laxatives market are included in the report. Competition assessment for major market players and an attractive investment proposition tool for the geographic markets are also included in the report for overall market competition scrutiny. This study concludes with a company profiles section, which includes major information about the key companies engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of saline laxatives.
The global saline laxatives market is studied for the following drug types:
- Magnesium Citrate
- Magnesium Hydroxide
- Sodium phosphates
Saline laxatives are milder forms of mainstream laxatives and are mostly used for rapid emptying of the bowel. These drugs are often used for preparation before surgery, for the elimination of foods and drugs after poisoning, or to obtain a fresh stool sample. Saline laxatives work by absorbing fluid into the bowel, thus softening the stools and enabling their rapid discharge. Saline laxatives contain magnesium, citrate, sulfate, and phosphate ions as active ingredients. Milk of Magnesia and Fleet phosphoric soda is the most renowned saline laxatives commercially available. The demand for OTC saline laxatives is the highest. However, their excessive and un-scrutinized use is discouraged on the grounds of reported renal failure, nephrocalcinosis, and acute phosphate nephropathy.
Geographically, the saline laxatives market is cumulative for North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
North America dominates the saline laxatives market both in terms of consumption and revenue generation, followed by Europe. High use of medication for mild constipation, greater awareness, and wide availability of a range of products are the key factors contributing to the dominance of these regions. Latin America is anticipated to follow the trends prevalent in the North American market. Asia-Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing market among all the regions. Gradual growth in awareness in the patient population and the growing availability of cost-effective drugs are the key factors driving the Asia-Pacific markets. The growing prevalence of constipation in this region and the large pool of the target geriatric population are among the other drivers contributing to the growth of the Asia-Pacific saline laxatives market.
Based on prescription type, the global saline laxatives market is studied for the following types:
- Prescribed saline laxatives
- Over-the-counter saline laxatives
Saline laxatives form a very small section of the overall laxative drugs available on the market. High prevalence of constipation and a corresponding lack of reporting until acute stages contribute to high levels of self-prescription of laxatives. Osmotic laxatives have been available for decades in the market, and patent protection for these products has long expired. These factors significantly contribute to the larger market share of over-the-counter sales of saline laxatives. However, the reported risk of acute phosphate nephropathy in patients has led to a controlled restraint on excessive OTC demand for saline laxatives. The demand for mild saline laxatives such as oral magnesium hydroxide is observed to be higher through OTC sales.