Epidemiology of Constipation in Elderly Patients: Drug Utilisation and Cost-Containment Strategies

Frank A. Lederle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Constipation is a common complaint among elderly people, resulting in large amounts of money being spent on laxatives. Strategies for improving patient care while reducing this expenditure include: (a) counselling patients that daily bowel movements and purging are not essential to good health, (b) greater use of non-pharmacological measures such as hydration, exercise and dietary fibre, and (c) considering safety, effectiveness and cost in the selection of a laxative. Generic preparations of psyllium and sorbitol can be recommended in this regard. The widespread use of stool softeners, magnesium hydroxide (‘milk of magnesia’) and stimulant laxatives is difficult to justify from the available data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-469
Number of pages5
JournalDrugs & Aging
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

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