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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Oct;65(4):361-363. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001704.

Role of Polyethylene Glycol in the Treatment of Functional Constipation in Children.

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*Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Emma Children's Hospital/Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands †Faculty of Medicine, University Children's Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany ‡Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel §Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, First Department of Pediatrics, University of Athens, Children's Hospital "Agia Sofia", Athens, Greece ||Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Unit, La Fe University Hospital, Valencia, Spain ¶Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom #Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Jeanne de Flandre University Hospital, CHU Lille, University Lille, Lille, France **Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University Children's Hospital, Ljubljana, Slovenia ††NEUROFARBA Department, University of Florence ‡‡Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Meyer children's Hospital, Florence, Italy.


According to international guidelines, polyethylene glycol (PEG) is the laxative of first choice in the treatment of functional constipation in children, both for disimpaction and for maintenance treatment. PEG acts as an osmotic laxative and its efficacy is dose dependent. PEG is highly effective, has a good safety profile, and is well tolerated by children. Only minor adverse events have been reported. Overall the use of PEG in children has been reported to be safe, although in patients predisposed to water and electrolyte imbalances monitoring of serum electrolytes should be considered.

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