To assess the clinical and biochemical safety profile of long-term polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG) therapy in children with chronic constipation and to assess pediatric patient acceptance of PEG therapy.
Prospective observational study.
Pediatric clinics at a referral center.
Eighty-three children (44 with chronic constipation, 39 with constipation and encopresis) receiving PEG therapy for more than 3 months.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical adverse effects related to PEG therapy and acceptance and compliance with PEG therapy. Serum electrolyte levels, osmolality, albumin levels, and liver and renal function test results were measured.
At the time of evaluation, the mean duration of PEG therapy was 8.7 months, and the mean PEG dose was 0.75 g/kg daily. There were no major clinical adverse effects. All blood test results were normal, except for transient minimal alanine aminotransferase elevation unrelated to therapy in 9 patients. All children preferred PEG to previously used laxatives, and daily compliance was measured as good in 90% of children.
Long-term PEG therapy is safe and is well accepted by children with chronic constipation with and without encopresis.