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  1. Bengtsson, Mariette MSc, RN
  2. Ohlsson, Bodil PhD, RN, MD


The use of sodium picosulphate has been restricted to a few weeks due to its potentially harmful effect on the colon. In spite of this restriction, however, many patients prefer this pharmaceutical drug. The authors have earlier studied the use of sodium picosulphate and found regular use leads to a moderate dose escalation. The aim of this study was to examine whether subjects who use laxatives containing sodium picosulphate differ in their psychological well-being and symptoms from subjects who use other laxatives, and to decide, on the basis of the results, how to use drugs containing sodium picosulphate. Eighty-six women, age 27-65 years, with chronic constipation were interviewed by two self-administered questionnaires: the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB) and the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS). Twenty-two of the subjects were interviewed a second time some months later after inclusion in a drug trial. Thirty-five women used sodium picosulphate regularly every week and 51 used other laxatives. Psychological well-being according to the PGWB was better for the subjects who used sodium picosulphate regularly than for those who used other laxatives (97 compared to 86, p, .017) This difference was due to less anxiety (p, .0001). There was no difference between the groups according to the GSRS. After inclusion in a drug trial, but before the introduction of the drugs, the group who did not use sodium picosulphate was remarkably improved with less anxiety, better self-control, and reduced abdominal pain and constipation. As the psychological well-being was better for the subjects who used sodium picosulphate, these drugs can be used when patients fail to respond to traditional therapies.