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Constipation is the most common digestive complaint, affecting about 12% of the population, of whom 16–40% use laxatives.1 ,2 Since more than 11 million laxative items are prescribed in the community in the UK every year,3 it is important that these are both clinically and cost effective. This paper is a new addition to the Cochrane library and, as such, provides a rigorous meta-analysis of available evidence which …
Competing interests None.