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Clinical Trial
. 2004 Nov;53(11):1590-4.
doi: 10.1136/gut.2004.043620.

PEG 3350 (Transipeg) Versus Lactulose in the Treatment of Childhood Functional Constipation: A Double Blind, Randomised, Controlled, Multicentre Trial

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Free PMC article
Clinical Trial

PEG 3350 (Transipeg) Versus Lactulose in the Treatment of Childhood Functional Constipation: A Double Blind, Randomised, Controlled, Multicentre Trial

W Voskuijl et al. Gut. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Recently, polyethylene glycol (PEG 3350) has been suggested as a good alternative laxative to lactulose as a treatment option in paediatric constipation. However, no large randomised controlled trials exist evaluating the efficacy of either laxative.

Aims: To compare PEG 3350 (Transipeg: polyethylene glycol with electrolytes) with lactulose in paediatric constipation and evaluate clinical efficacy/side effects.

Patients: One hundred patients (aged 6 months-15 years) with paediatric constipation were included in an eight week double blinded, randomised, controlled trial.

Methods: After faecal disimpaction, patients <6 years of age received PEG 3350 (2.95 g/sachet) or lactulose (6 g/sachet) while children > or =6 years started with 2 sachets/day. Primary outcome measures were: defecation and encopresis frequency/week and successful treatment after eight weeks. Success was defined as a defecation frequency > or =3/week and encopresis < or =1 every two weeks. Secondary outcome measures were side effects after eight weeks of treatment.

Results: A total of 91 patients (49 male) completed the study. A significant increase in defecation frequency (PEG 3350: 3 pre v 7 post treatment/week; lactulose: 3 pre v 6 post/week) and a significant decrease in encopresis frequency (PEG 3350: 10 pre v 3 post/week; lactulose: 8 pre v 3 post/week) was found in both groups (NS). However, success was significantly higher in the PEG group (56%) compared with the lactulose group (29%). PEG 3350 patients reported less abdominal pain, straining, and pain at defecation than children using lactulose. However, bad taste was reported significantly more often in the PEG group.

Conclusions: PEG 3350 (0.26 (0.11) g/kg), compared with lactulose (0.66 (0.32) g/kg), provided a higher success rate with fewer side effects. PEG 3350 should be the laxative of first choice in childhood constipation.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Defecation frequency (A) and encopresis frequency (B) in the polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG) group and lactulose group. There was no significant difference between the two patient groups with respect to these two parameters at all time points. Note: all patients openly switched to PEG 3350 after the study period of eight weeks. FU, follow up.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Side effects after eight weeks of study in the polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG) group and the lactulose group. *p<0.05.

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