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

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


Embedded ImageData sources:

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

Embedded ImageStudy 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.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

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


Laxatives evaluated were osmotic laxatives (eg, polyethylene …

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  • A modified version of this abstract appears in ACP Journal Club.

  • For correspondence: Dr S S Rao, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.

  • Source of funding: Novartis Pharmaceuticals.