Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim: Unfounded Fear of Addiction Prevents Laxative Use

    Berlin, Germany (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Global Survey Highlights Misunderstandings About Causes and Treatment of Constipation

    - Not for use or publication in the USA

    Many people with constipation are confused about the cause of their condition and its appropriate treatment with laxatives. Results of a new large-scale global survey, announced today, show that many people wrongly fear that laxatives are addictive and that their use for long periods of time actually causes constipation.(1,2)

    One of the authors of the study, Professor Muller-Lissner said, "Constipation sufferers should be reassured that they will not become dependent on laxatives. Clinical studies and extensive experience show that laxatives, such as bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate, are not addictive and can be trusted as safe and effective treatments."

    Dr. Stuart Ferguson, an addiction specialist, added, "Addiction to a medicine can only happen when it affects the brain - this is the case with nicotine and alcohol. Dulcolax(R), however, does not affect the brain and therefore cannot be addictive."

    The survey of 1,400 people in seven countries also found that 90% of people with constipation consider nutrition and stress to be the most common cause of constipation.(1,2) A recently published review, however, contradicts such beliefs and reports that diet and lifestyle should not be assumed to be the major cause of constipation.(3)

    Despite these misunderstandings, more than 30% of those surveyed believe that laxatives, such as Dulcolax(R), are effective and can help to relieve their condition.

    "The findings show that people recognise laxatives can help them but that they are not using them because of fears of addiction and confusion about the condition" commented Professor Muller-Lissner. He continued "As healthcare professionals, we need to provide suffers with the right information so that they can stop worrying unnecessarily and use the best remedies available."

    Claire Shiells from London, UK is a patient who confidently uses laxatives. "I used to spend days feeling uncomfortable and bloated, which was affecting my performance at work and my home life. Dulcolax(R) has helped me to lead a normal life without having to constantly worry about my bowels. I'm confident that it can help others like it has helped me."

    Notes to Editors

    Dulcolax(R) (bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate)

    Dulcolax(R) (bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate) is a safe(4-9) and effective contact laxative available worldwide for the gentle yet effective treatment of constipation(5-12) even over the long-term.(13) The active ingredients in Dulcolax(R) act only where they are needed, in the colon,(4-5,14-27) and stimulate the natural movements of the bowels to alleviate the symptoms of constipation.

    Epidemiology Survey

    The survey was conducted in seven countries across four continents, with at least 200 one-to-one interviews with frequent sufferers carried out in each country. The results give a unique insight into these sufferer's beliefs and habits and draw attention to the fact that people are continuing to be influenced by myths.

    United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW)

    The United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW) is organised annually and has a balanced programme which includes a range of symposia on clinical updates, the best of European gastrointestinal and liver science and some training opportunities for established and nascent gastroenterologists. For more information on UEGW, visit

    Boehringer Ingelheim

    The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and almost 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

    In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 9.5 billion euro while spending almost one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

    The Consumer Health Care business is one of the core businesses of the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation and strives to serve customers worldwide with top-quality pharmaceuticals for self-medication and is widely known for its products such as: Pharmaton(R), Dulcolax(R), Bisolvon(R), Mucosolvan(R), Buscopan(R), Antistax(R) and Mucoangin(R).

    Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Healthcare is ranked the 8th largest supplier of self-medication products. For more information, visit

      For any further information, please contact:
      Ute E. Schmidt
      Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH,
      55216 Ingelheim, Germany
      Tel. +49-(0)-6132-77-97296
      Fax +49-(0)-6132-77-6601


    1. Wald A, et al. UEGW. 21-25 October 2006, Berlin, Germany. Abstract No. WED-G-285.

    2. Wald A, et al. UEGW. 21-25 October 2006, Berlin, Germany. Abstract No. WED-G-286.

    3. Muller-Lissner SA, et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100(1):232-42. Review.

    4. Vix J-M, et al. Data on file.

    5. Kienzle-Horn S, et al. Data on file.


    7. American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement. Gastroenterology 2001;119:1761-78.

    8. Kienzle-Horn S, et al. UEGW. 21-25 October 2006, Berlin, Germany. Abstract No. WED-G-40

    9. Wulkow R, et al. UEGW. 21-25 October 2006, Berlin, Germany. Abstract No. WED-G-41.

    10. Schiller LR. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2001;15:749-63.

    11. Muller-Lissner SA, et al. Uni-Med Verlag, Bremen, 2001.

    12. American Food and Drug Administration. Fed Regist 1985;50(10):2151-8.

    13. Ruidisch M, et al. Arztl Forsch 1994;41:1-8.

    14. Fork F, et al. Gastrointest Radiol 1982;7:383-9.

    15. Present A, et al. Semin Roentgenol 1982;139(5):855-60.

    16. Desa-Souza J, et al. J Jj Group Hosp Grant Med Coll 1961;6(4):301-4.

    17. Brocklehurst J. Practitioner 1964;193:779-82.

    18. Smith J, et al. West J Surg Obstet Gynecol 1964;72:177-80.

    19. Eid C, et al. J Mich State Med Soc 1961;60:1546-9.

    20. Sowerbutts J. Gut 1960;1:175-7.

    21. Fitzsimons P, et al. Can Assoc Radiol J 1987;38:109-12.

    22. Rings E, et al. Endoscopy 1989;21(4):172-3.

    23. Mundinger A, et al. Radiologe 1990;30(1):34-8.

    24. Mahieu P. J Belge Radiol 1989;72(6):475-9.

    25. Burlefinger R, et al. Z Gastroenterol 1991;29(8):404-5.

    26. Brady C, et al. Ann Clin Res 1987;19:34-38.

    27. Voderholzer W, et al. Gastroenterology 2000;118(4), Suppl 2,Part 1,A838.

ots Originaltext: Boehringer Ingelheim
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Contact: Ute E. Schmidt, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, 55216 Ingelheim,
Germany, Tel. +49-(0)-6132-77-97296, Fax +49-(0)-6132-77-6601

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