Evid Based Nurs 8:109 doi:10.1136/ebn.8.4.109
  • Treatment

Review: good evidence supports use of polyethylene glycol and tegaserod for constipation

 Q How effective and safe are various medical therapies in patients with chronic constipation?


GraphicData sources:

Medline (1966–2004) and bibliographies of relevant studies and reviews.

GraphicStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared medical therapies with placebo or compared 2 separate agents in adults with constipation. Assessment of study quality was done using a 5 point score (5  =  highest quality) based on randomisation procedure, allocation concealment, blinding, and completeness of follow up.


stool frequency, stool consistency, straining, use of additional laxatives, ease of defecation, and side effects.


Laxatives evaluated were osmotic laxatives (eg, polyethylene glycol [PEG], lactulose, milk of magnesia, and sorbitol), irritant and stimulant laxatives (eg, senna and bisacodyl), bulking agents (eg, psyllium [ispaghula], methylcellulose, …

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