Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Nurs Res. 2004 Nov;17(4):265-74.

Safety and effectiveness of large-volume enema solutions.

Author information

The University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing, 76019, USA.


The effectiveness and side effects of three types of enema solutions were compared in healthy subjects. Using a repeated-measures, double-blind design, the three different enemas (soapsuds, tap water, and polyethylene glycol-electrolyte solution) were given at 1-week intervals to 24 healthy volunteers. Soapsuds and tap water enemas produced significantly greater returns than polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (PEG-ES) and were also more uncomfortable. Rectal biopsies showed surface epithelium loss after soapsuds and tap water but not after PEG-ES enemas. Before recommending changes in nursing practice, further research is needed to determine the mechanism for the surface epithelium damage and to determine if this damage produces a stronger defecation stimulus and discomfort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center