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Is polyethylene glycol safe and effective for chronic constipation in children?
  1. R Arora,
  2. R Srinivasan
  1. Llandough Hospital, Cardiff, UK;

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    Chronic constipation is a frequently encountered problem in the paediatric wards and clinics. Your usual line of management has been to prescribe adequate doses of regular lactulose and use sodium picosulphate as a second line laxative or as add on treatment. Recently, you have become aware of a new drug—polyethylene glycol (PEG). As you have not prescribed this drug earlier, you want to appraise the evidence before using it in your clinical practice.

    Structured clinical question

    In children with chronic constipation [patients] is polyethylene glycol [intervention] better in improving stool frequency and consistency [outcome] while causing fewer side effects?

    Search strategy and outcome

    Primary sources

    Medline via Pubmed: Search was done using headings “Child”[MeSH] AND “Polyethylene Glycols”[MeSH] AND (“Constipation”[MeSH] OR “Fecal Impaction”[MeSH]). Twenty articles were found of which eight were relevant.

    To find articles that had been published but were still waiting to be indexed, another search was carried out with the terms “polyethylene …

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    • Bob Phillips