The vexed issue of constipation might be solved soon as
two new drugs have shown promise against it.
Two studies have revealed good results against the most
severe forms of constipation. In the first study, researchers tested the
efficacy of an experimental drug called prucalopride on 620 people with chronic
The researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that 47.3
percent of the people who were prescribed 2 mg of the drug reported improvement
in bowel movements within 12 weeks. This number compared favorably with the
25.8 percent who were given a placebo.
"The results were better than with similar
medications available in the past," said Dr. Michael Camilleri, lead
author of the study.
In the second study 133 people who also took narcotic
pain killers were given a new drug called methylnaltrexone. The researchers
reported that 48 percent of those who took the drug had bowel movement within 4
hours as compared to 15 percent on a placebo.
Both studies appear
in the May 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.