Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2005; 18(2): 76-80
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-870887
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Medical Treatment of Constipation

Jonathan D. Siegel1 , Jack A. Di Palma1
  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, Alabama
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 May 2005 (online)


Various agents are used for the medical management of chronic constipation, but few of these have been adequately studied. This article specifically examines the medical treatment of chronic constipation and the available data concerning bulk agents, lubricating agents, stimulants, and osmotic laxatives, used alone and in combination. Most experts consider dietary fiber or medicinal bulk agents to be the initial therapeutic option for the treatment of chronic constipation. If fiber is not successful or poorly tolerated, subsequent treatments may include saline osmotic laxatives, lactulose, 5-hydroxytryptamine4 (5-HT4) agonists (tegaserod), or stimulants such as senna or bisacodyl. Recent data also demonstrate both polyethylene glycol laxative and tegaserod to be safe and effective as initial therapy for chronic constipation.


Jack A Di Palma, M.D. 

Gastroenterology Academic Offices, University of South Alabama

Knollwood Pavilion, 5600 Girby Rd., Mobile, AL 36693

Email: [email protected]