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Summary

Aim

To determine the effect of a laxative alone and in combination with tegaserod in alleviating pain and improving stool frequency in adolescents with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

Patients

Forty-eight postpubertal adolescents of both sexes with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome, as defined by Rome II criteria, were randomly allocated to Group A (n = 27) for treatment with a laxative (polyethylene glycol 3350 oral solution) only or Group B (n = 21) for combination therapy with the laxative and tegaserod. Symptoms of abdominal pain (scale 0–10) and frequency of bowel movements were recorded daily in the pre-treatment phase and the post-treatment phase after a 7-day ‘washout’ period. Patients served as their own controls.

Results

Treatment with the laxative alone (Group A) resulted in significant increase in frequency of bowel movements (P < 0.05), but not significant improvement in pain (P > 0.05). Treatment with the combination of the laxative and tegaserod (Group B) led to significant increase in the frequency of bowel movements and also significant reduction in pain (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

The laxative alone improved stooling but not pain in adolescents with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Addition of tegaserod resulted in alleviation of pain as well.