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Minerva Chirurgica 2017 June;72(3):265-73

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4733.17.07236-4

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

A comparative review of common laxatives in the treatment of constipation

Kyle FIORINI 1, Steven SATO 2, Christopher M. SCHLACHTA 1, Nawar A. ALKHAMESI 2

1 Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR), Department of Surgery, London Health Sciences Centre, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry-Western University, London, ON, Canada; 2 Department of Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry-Western University, London, ON, Canada


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INTRODUCTION: Constipation is a common condition that affects people all over the world. A frequently sought out solution to this problem consists of laxatives, especially since these medications are easily accessible over-the-counter in most pharmacies. This has led laxative spending in North America alone to be approximately $500 million per year.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Due to this large expenditure, a review of the available laxative data was completed and common laxative classes were evaluated and contrasted for the purposes of evaluating cost-effectiveness.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Despite the wide use of laxatives, very little research has been done to evaluate their efficacy. Even less has been done to analyze these medications from a cost standpoint.
CONCLUSIONS: Although laxatives are very commonly prescribed and used over-the-counter, more research attention should be granted on determining the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of laxative use.


KEY WORDS: Laxatives - Constipation - Psyllium - Lactulose - Polyethylene glycols - Senna plants

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