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South Med J. 1978 Jun;71(6):677-80.

Treatment of constipation in geriatric and chronically ill patients: a comparison.


The difficulties of adequately managing constipation, particulary in patients with impaired or limited mobility as a result of surgery, cardiovascular or cerebral disease, or advanced age, led us to evaluate the use of stool softeners in a homogeneous group of institutionalized patients. Comparison was made between dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS) (Colace), q.d. and b.i.d., and dioctyl calcium sulfosuccinate (DCS) (Surfak), q.d. Analysis of results showed 81% of the patients receiving DCS improved, a significant result (P is less than .02) when assessed by the sign test. By contrast, DSS caused no significant improvement over placebo, regardless of whether it was administered once or twice a day. The mean number of natural bowel movements among the DCS group increased approximately 62% over the placebo period, more than twice the 30% increase seen with DSS administered either b.i.d. or q.d. No adverse reactions were reported in any of the groups, and no significant study-induced changes occurred in laboratory measurements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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