Candy, D., & Belsey, J. (2009). Macrogol (polyethylene glycol) laxatives in children with functional constipation and faecal impaction: A systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94, 156–160.doi: 10.1136/adc.2007.128769
To determine whether more precise guidance can be given regarding use of osmotic laxatives, and to assess the evidence for their use in children with constipation.
Initial searching provided 100 clinical trials and 71 review articles. A final group of seven trials was identified for consideration in this review.
The seven final studies encompassed data on 594 patients.
The review highlights the necessity of considering what treatment children will accept in managing symptoms.
This review was done in children with functional constipation, so findings may not be clearly applicable in children with constipation related to cancer treatment. PEG may be helpful and more effective than lactulose in the management of constipation in children with cancer, and may be more accepted than milk of magnesia.