Forty-five elderly subjects with faecal impaction were entered into a study of the efficacy of golytely. Twenty-three were treated with golytely 2 l/day for 2 days and then lactulose 30 ml b.d. and daily enemas. Twenty-two were treated with lactulose 30 ml b.d. and daily enemas alone. A good response was achieved in 13 (56%) within 1 week and in 20 (87%) within 2 weeks when golytely was used, as compared to only 5 (23%) within 1 week and 9 (41%) within 2 weeks when it was not used.