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Box of 'Purgen - the New Aperient', London, England, 1920-1940

An aperient is a polite word for a laxative. The packaging claims that this "New Aperient is a simple chemical and the mildest aperient known, not drastic or irritating, but certain in its action, it is not absorbed and therefore, even in large doses, is perfectly harmless”. The trade name Purgen is a play on the word ‘purge’, describing the drug’s action. The drug came in adult and infant doses and was typical of many medicines that were available ‘over the counter’ at pharmacists. It was made by H and T Kirby and Co Ltd, manufacturing chemists.

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Glossary: laxative

An agent that acts to encourage evacuation of the bowels

Glossary: tablet

Also known as a pill, it is made by compressing a powdered form of one or more drugs. It is usually taken by mouth, but may be inserted into a different body cavity.

Glossary: box - container

No description.