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Drug Class Review: Constipation Drugs: Final Report [Internet]

Drug Class Review: Constipation Drugs: Final Report [Internet]

Drug Class Reviews - Oregon Health & Science University

Version: September 2007


Chronic constipation is a disorder characterized by unsatisfactory defecation that results from infrequent stools, difficult stool passage, or both over a time period of at least 12 weeks. The diagnosis is primarily symptom-based, relying on the patient's self report of symptoms; however, the description of constipation symptoms varies significantly among patients. Common symptoms may include infrequent bowel movement, hard stool, too small stool, difficulties with stool expulsion (need for excessive straining), feeling of incomplete evacuation or simply a patient description of "a feeling of being constipated" without any of these constipation-related symptoms. While physicians traditionally defined constipation as fewer than three bowel movements per week, more specific diagnostic criteria have been developed to better specify the nature and duration of symptoms (Table 1).

Evidence Tables

PEG 3350 8 oz per day vs. placebo

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