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Pharmacological interventions on early functional gastrointestinal disorders.

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Dr Swati Bhave    23 May 2018

Although in most cases with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), gastrointestinal symptoms are transient and show spontaneous resolution in infancy, multiple dietary changes and pharmacological therapy are often commenced without an evidence-based data.

The goal of a study published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics was to update and critically review the current literature to assess the effects and clinical appropriateness of drug treatment in early (in infants and toddlers) FGIDs.

Here, a search was conducted for systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concerning pharmacologic therapies in children with early FGIDs, from the Medline and GIMBE (Italian Group on Medicine Based on Evidence) databases.

From the results, it was noted that lactulose was recommended for treating constipated infants, younger than 6 months of age, whereas in the older age-group, polyethylene glycol (PEG) was indicated as the first-line therapy both for fecal disimpaction and maintenance therapy of constipation.

The findings suggested that pharmacological intervention is essential for rectal disimpaction in childhood constipation and that PEG represents the first line therapy.

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