Polyethylene Glycol 3350 With Electrolytes Versus Polyethylene Glycol 4000 for Constipation: A Randomized, Controlled Trial: A randomized, controlled trial

Noor L. H. Bekkali, Daniël R. Hoekman, Olivia Liem, Marloes E. J. Bongers, Michiel P. van Wijk, Bas Zegers, Rolf A. Pelleboer, Wim Verwijs, Bart G. P. Koot, Maksym Voropaiev, Marc A. Benninga

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The long-term efficacy and safety of polyethylene glycol (PEG) in constipated children are unknown, and a head-to-head comparison of the different PEG formulations is lacking. We aimed to investigate noninferiority of PEG3350 with electrolytes (PEG3350 + E) compared to PEG4000 without electrolytes (PEG4000). In this double-blind trial, children aged 0.5 to 16 years with constipation, defined as a defecation frequency of <3 times per week, were randomized to receive either PEG3350 + E or PEG4000. Primary outcomes were change in total sum score (TSS) at week 52 compared to baseline, and dose range determination. TSS was the sum of the severity of 5 constipation symptoms rated on a 4-point scale (0-3). Noninferiority margin was a difference in TSS of ≤1.5 based on a 95%-confidence interval [CI]. Treatment success was defined as a defecation frequency of ≥3 per week with <1 episode of fecal incontinence. Ninety-seven subjects were included, of whom 82 completed the study. Mean reduction in TSS was -3.81 (95% CI: -4.96 to -2.65) and -3.74 (95%CI: -5.08 to -2.40), for PEG3350 + E and PEG4000, respectively. Noninferiority criteria were not met (maximum difference between groups: -1.81 to 1.68). Daily sachet use was: 0 to 2 years: 0.4 to 2.3 and 0.9 to 2.1; 2 to 4 years: 0.1 to 3.5 and 1.2 to 3.2; 4 to 8 years: 1.1 to 2.8 and 0.7 to 3.8; 8 to 16 years 0.6 to 3.7 and 1.0 to 3.7, in PEG3350 + E and PEG4000, respectively. Treatment success after 52 weeks was achieved in 50% and 45% of children, respectively (P = 0.69). Rates of adverse events were similar between groups, and no drug-related serious adverse events occurred. Noninferiority regarding long-term constipation-related symptoms of PEG3350 + E compared to PEG4000 was not demonstrated. However, analysis of secondary outcomes suggests similar efficacy and safety of these agents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Children
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Functional constipation
  • Longterm use
  • PEG3350
  • PEG4000

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