The purpose of this study was evaluating the safety and efficacy of Polyethylene glycol (PEG) for persistent constipation in children under the age of 24 months and determining the best PEG dosage for treating persistent constipation in children under the age of 24 months. Between January 1, 2000 and February 1, 2019, Embase, Medline Ovid, Pubmed, and the Cochrane Library were searched for this systematic review. PEG-treated functional constipation studies involving patients less than 24 months of age were deemed possibly suitable for consideration. The studies were reviewed for inclusion/exclusion criteria by two writers. The PEDro quality assessment, the Cochrane risk of bias tool, and/or the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale were used to assess study quality. Five studies met the criteria for inclusion. The following dosage categories were used in all studies: mean effective maintenance dose, mean starting dose, mean short-term and long-term dose, and mean daily dose. Adverse effects for all kinds of PEG were transitory across all studies, and they included diarrhea and stomach discomfort.
This comprehensive study found no documented adverse effects from PEG in children under the age of 24 months. There is no evidence to support the use of suitable dose regimens.