The Global Saline Laxatives Market size was valued at US$ 317.7 million in 2018, and is expected to witness a CAGR of 6.9% over the forecast period (2018 – 2026).
Saline laxatives are used to treat constipation or to cleanse the colon in preparation for a colonoscopy. Saline laxative work by absorbing water into the intestine, which softens the stool. These drugs rapidly increase the frequency of complete bowel actions, reduce constipation-associated symptoms and improve disease-related quality of life. Mild saline laxatives such as milk of magnesia and oral magnesium hydroxide have been used to treat constipation during pregnancy.
Increasing number of constipation incidences coupled with rising geriatric population base worldwide is the major factor driving the saline laxatives market growth. Low fluid and fibre diet intake may also play a major role in onset of constipation. According to the AGA Journal 2011 data, constipation affects 12% to 19% of Americans every year; its prevalence increases with age and it affects women more than men. Constipation causes psychological impairment, social distress, sexual dysfunction, altered interpersonal relationship, and impairment in quality of life. It has a major impact on social and economic burden. As per U.S. FDA, Americans spend more than US$ 700 million annually on over-the-counter laxatives.
Constipation during pregnancy is a common problem. According to the BMC journal 2012 data, the reported prevalence of constipation in pregnant women varies between 11 to 38% and occurs mostly during the third trimester, although symptoms can be present from 12 weeks gestation. However, most obstetricians advise avoiding laxatives during pregnancy and prescribe stool softeners instead due to its potential side effects.
Side effects associated with over dose of saline laxative including cathartic colon, intestinal paralysis, lazy or laxative gut, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome can confine the saline laxative market growth during the forecast period. In 2014, the FDA issued a warning about the use of saline laxatives. Saline laxatives that contain the active ingredient sodium phosphate can lead to abnormal levels of electrolytes, dehydration, heart and kidney problems, and death.
Increasing prevalence of chronic constipation is expected to drive the saline laxatives market growth
Increasing prevalence of constipation coupled with sedentary lifestyle, consumption of low fluid and fiber diet and rising geriatric population are major factors expected to drive the global saline laxative market growth. According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study 2016, chronic constipation is a common complaint encountered by both gastroenterologists and primary care physicians, with prevalence estimates ranging from 1% to 8% among the North American population. Moreover, constipation occurs more frequently in women, with a female/male ratio ranging from 1.01 to 3.77.
The burden of chronic constipation also affects work productivity, employment, and social activities. According to the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2007 study, among patients suffering from chronic constipation, 30% believe that they were less productive at work or at school, 13% missed work or school days, and nearly 10% were late or had to leave work or school due to their symptoms. Therefore, demand for saline laxatives is significantly boosting with increasing cases of chronic constipation.
Key players operating in the global saline laxatives market include Beutlich Pharmaceuticals LLC, Bayer AG, C.B. Fleet Company, Inc., Salix Pharmaceuticals, Safeway Inc., Supervalu Inc., The Kroger Company, and Walgreen Co.
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Saline Laxatives Market – Regional Insights
On the basis of region, the global saline laxatives market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. North America saline laxative market is expected to foresee increase in revenue share, owing to increasing constipation related emergency in regional hospitals. For instance, according to a study published in a journal in 2015, national cost of constipation-related emergency department visits in the U.S. increased by 121.4% from 723,886,977 in 2006 to 1.6 billion in 2011.
Europe saline laxative market is anticipated to grow at significant rate, owing to increasing spending over the use of laxatives. For instance, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, in 2013, in the UK more than 17 million laxative items were prescribed. According to a study published by a journal, in Norway, a population of around 5.2 million, spent US$ 22.1 million in 2014, on laxatives.