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Safety of polyethylene glycol 3350 solution in chronic constipation: randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Authors McGraw T

Received 29 April 2016

Accepted for publication 13 June 2016

Published 15 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 173—180

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S111693

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser


Thomas McGraw

Global Medical Affairs, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA

Purpose: To evaluate the safety and tolerability of aqueous solution concentrate (ASC) of polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3350 in patients with functional constipation.
Patients and methods: The patients who met Rome III diagnostic criteria for functional constipation were randomized in this multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind study to receive once daily dose of PEG 3350 (17 g) ASC or placebo solution for 14 days. The study comprised a screening period (visit 1), endoscopy procedure (visits 2 and 3), and follow-up telephone calls 30 days post-treatment. Safety end points included adverse events (AEs), clinical laboratory evaluations, vital signs, and others. The primary end points were the proportion of patients with abnormalities of the oral and esophageal mucosa, detected by visual and endoscopic examination of the oral cavity and esophagus, respectively, compared with placebo. A secondary objective was to compare the safety and tolerability of ASC by evaluating AEs or adverse drug reactions.
Results: A total of 65 patients were enrolled in this study, 31 were randomized to PEG 3350 ASC and 34 were randomized to placebo, of which 62 patients completed the study. No patients in either group showed abnormalities in inflammation of the oral mucosa during visit 2 (before treatment) or visit 3 (after treatment). Fewer abnormalities of the esophageal mucosa were observed in the PEG 3350 ASC group than in the placebo group on visit 3, with no significant difference in the proportion of abnormalities between the treatment groups. Overall, 40 treatment-emergent AEs were observed in 48.4% of patients treated with PEG 3350 ASC, and 41 treatment-emergent AEs were observed in 55.9% of patients treated with placebo – nonsignificant difference of -7.5% (95% CI: -21.3, 6.3) between treatment groups. No serious AEs or deaths were reported, and no patient discontinued because of an AE.
Conclusion: PEG 3350 ASC is safe and well tolerated in patients with functional constipation (NCT01885104).

Keywords: polyethylene glycols, drug tolerance, constipation, laxatives, solutions

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