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Polyethylene glycol maintenance treatment for childhood functional constipation.

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eMediNexus    11 July 2018

A new article published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition investigated the long-term efficacy of polyethylene glycol (PEG) during maintenance treatment of childhood functional constipation (FC). This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial which included 102 children, 2-16 years of age, with FC according to the Rome III criteria. Here, the participants were assigned to either maintenance treatment with PEG or placebo, for 24 weeks. Children who reported treatment failure during the treatment period were switched over to conventional therapy. Primary outcome was successful treatment, defined as absence of any Rome III criteria with or without the use of medication after 24 weeks. It was observed that a significantly more number of patients in the PEG group were successfully treated after 24 weeks of therapy. While significantly fewer children in the PEG group switched to rescue medication. Time before the change to rescue medication was 13 and 27 days, respectively, for each of the 2 children in the PEG group who required rescue medication. At 24 weeks after initiation of treatment, 67% children in the PEG group were successfully treated, compared to 32% children in the placebo group. No serious adverse event related to use of PEG was reported. From the results, it was concluded that maintenance treatment with PEG is significantly more effective than placebo in preventing relapse of constipation symptoms during long-term maintenance therapy in childhood FC.

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