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J Pediatr. 2001 Sep;139(3):428-32.

Efficacy and optimal dose of daily polyethylene glycol 3350 for treatment of constipation and encopresis in children.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, USA.



To determine efficacy, safety, and optimal dose of a laxative, polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3350, in children with chronic constipation.


Children with chronic constipation (n = 24) were treated with PEG for 8 weeks at an initial dose of 1 g/kg/d. The dose was adjusted every 3 days as required to achieve 2 soft stools per day. A diary was kept to monitor dose, stool frequency and consistency, soiling, and other symptoms. Stool consistency was rated from 1 (hard) to 5 (watery). Subjects were examined for fecal retention. The Student t test and the Fisher exact test were used for data analysis.


All 20 children who completed the study found PEG to be palatable and were satisfied with the treatment. There were no significant adverse effects. Weekly stool frequency increased from 2.3 +/- 0.4 to 16.9 +/- 1.6 (P <.0001) during treatment and stool consistency from 1.2 +/- 0.1 to 3.3 +/- 0.1 (P <.0001). In 9 children with soiling, weekly soiling events declined from 10.0 +/- 2.4 to 1.3 +/- 0.7 (P =.003). The mean effective dose was 0.84 g/kg/d (range, 0.27-1.42 g/kg/d).


Daily administration of PEG at a mean dose of 0.8 g/kg is an effective, safe, and palatable treatment for constipation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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