Where Do We Go Wrong in the Pharmacologic Treatment of Functional Constipation in Children?

Pharmacologic Treatment of Functional Constipation in Children


  • Neslihan Gürcan Kaya Clinic of Pediatric Gastroenterology, University of Health Sciences Türkiye, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Türkiye
  • Hakan Öztürk Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Türkiye


Constipation, treatment, lactulose, treatment period, response


Objective: Constipation is often inadequately treated in childhood, which can lead to psychological problems. This study aimed to evaluate the adequacy of prescribed drugs, dosing, usage, and responses to these drugs in children with functional constipation.
Methods: This research comprised children who had consulted a pediatric gastroenterologist for functional constipation and had previously undergone constipation therapy. The name of the drug used, duration of drug usage, method of measurement, and what they took the drug with, the dose of drug, and response to the drug were recorded.
Results: Eighty-seven percent of the patients had received lactulose treatment. Only 31% of the patients received a medication dose greater than 1 mL/kg. In 58.3% of cases, the duration of drug use was shorter than one month. There was not a response in 62.9% of cases, a partial response in 23.1%, and a full response in 13.8% of cases. When the patients were compared based on response, there was a significant difference in the duration of drug usage, what they drank the drug with, the daily dose of the drug, and the daily dosage per weight of the drug. Patients who measured the drug using a milliliter scale responded better. The response to the drug increased as the drug dosage per weight increased. Response was obtained in 73% of patients who had no response or partial response after drug or dose adjustments.
Conclusion: For a comprehensive response, parents must be carefully taught the dosage of the drug and how to measure it.
Keywords: Constipation, treatment, lactulose, treatment period, response






Original Research