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

Koppen, Ilan J.N.*; Broekaert, Ilse J.; Wilschanski, Michael; Papadopoulou, Alexandra§; Ribes-Koninckx, Carmen||; Thapar, Nikhil; Gottrand, Frederic#; Orel, Rok**; Lionetti, Paolo††,‡‡; Benninga, Marc A.*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: October 2017 - Volume 65 - Issue 4 - p 361–363
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001704
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ABSTRACT 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.

*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.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ilan J.N. Koppen, MD, Emma Kinderziekenhuis AMC, H7-250, PO Box 22700, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands (e-mail:

Received 6 June, 2017

Accepted 24 July, 2017

C.R.-K. is a scientific consultant for Shire and Norgine, and Casen. N.T. has participated as clinical investigator, and/or advisory board member, and/or consultant, and/or speaker for Danone, Nutricia ELN, and Mead Johnson. F.G. has participated as clinical investigator, and/or advisory board member, and/or consultant, and/or speaker for Nutricia Clinical Nutrition, Nestlé, and Halyard. R.O. has participated as clinical investigator and/or speaker for Ewopharma, Biogaia, Medis, Kefo, Abbvie, and MSD. P L. has participated as advisory board member, and/or speaker for Abbvie, Hospira, Nutricia, and Nestlè. M.A.B. is a scientific consultant for Shire, Sucampo, Astrazeneca, Norgine, Zeria, Coloplast, Danone, Friesland Campina, Sensus, and Novalac. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interests.

© 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,