Primary Article

Treatment of Constipation in Geriatric and Chronically Ill Patients A Comparison

Authors: ALLEN M. FAIN MD, ROSEMARY SUSAT MD, MARGARET HERRING, KAREN DORTON RN

Abstract

ABSTRACTThe difficulties of adequately managing constipation, particularly in patients with impaired or limited mobility as a result of surgery, cardiovascular or cerebral disease, or advanced age, led us to evaluate the use of stool softeners in a homogeneous group of institutionalized patients. Comparison was made between dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS) (Colace), q.d. and b.i.d., and dioctyl calcium sulfosuccinate (DCS) (Surfak), q.d. Analysis of results showed 81% of the patients receiving DCS improved, a significant result (P < .02) when assessed by the sign test. By contrast, DSS caused no significant improvement over placebo, regardless of whether it was administered once or twice a day. The mean number of natural bowel movements among the DCS group increased approximately 62% over the placebo period, more than twice the 30% increase seen with DSS administered either b.i.d. or q.d. No adverse reactions were reported in any of the groups, and no significant study-induced changes occurred in laboratory measurements.

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References