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03.09.2007 – 10:04

Boehringer Ingelheim

Suffering in Silence - The Real Impact of the Last Taboo

    Ingelheim, Germany (ots/PRNewswire)

Constipation is a condition that we are all familiar with, however, according to new international research from Dulcolax(R), constipation actually affects much more than just bowel movements and can have a severely detrimental impact on people's quality of life, in some cases comparable to that experienced by people suffering from more serious ailments.

    The Dulcolax(R) survey involved 2,870 patients from the UK, USA, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil and South Korea. It measured, for the first time on such a large scale, how constipation impacts on quality of life and shows that people with constipation have a much lower quality of life than non-constipated people. Key findings showed:

    - People who are constipated feel worse about their general health, believe they are more prone to falling ill and think that their health is more likely to deteriorate

    - The frequency and extent to which health problems interfered with social activities were both much worse when compared to non-constipated people

    - The negative impact on being able to perform normal physical activities was greater for people with constipation. These ranged from vigorous activities such as running and lifting heavy objects to bending, kneeling, stooping or even walking several hundred metres

    - Bodily pain was also reported more frequently in constipated people

    Perhaps the most surprising results are that, the impact on quality of life for a constipation sufferer can be as bad as that described by people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. (1)

    Professor Wald, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, USA and one of the lead professors scientifically guiding the survey comments, "It is important that the results of this study be made available to healthcare professionals. The goal of treating constipation should be an improved quality of life, as well as relief from physical symptoms."

    However, due to the many myths that still surround constipation, sufferers already blame themselves unnecessarily for their symptoms; one recent independent and comprehensive review showed that many people still wrongly believe that their diet (e.g. not eating enough fibre or drinking enough water) and lifestyle (not doing enough exercise) are the causes of their symptoms and so feel that it is their fault that they have constipation.(2)

    The results from this new survey show that in addition to this guilt there is also an emotional burden which in turn can make sufferers feel even more affected by the condition. It is important to educate healthcare professionals so that new steps can be taken to recognise this emotional burden and its bearing on the patient's quality of life.

    "Constipation is not a subject that people talk about, so it makes it hard to let people know just how much it is affecting you. I've always been too embarrassed to talk openly about how I feel. Also, I am worried that people will think I'm making more out of it than there really is, so I just keep it to myself, which makes me feel quite isolated," says Helena West a constipation sufferer from London, UK. She continues, "The truth is that when I'm constipated, I feel unattractive, irritable and I'm often in a lot of pain, which is something a lot of people don't realise. The worst thing is I don't feel like I can be myself as it takes over my thoughts and stops me from being me. "

    With Dulcolax(R), a remedy is available that can relieve the symptoms of constipation effectively whilst being gentle to the insides and helping sufferers to get back to a normal and active everyday life. Dulcolax(R) understands that sufferers carry this emotional burden and has been developing its range of solutions over the last 50 years to offer constipation sufferers discreet remedies that work with the body's natural rhythm,(3) minimising the impact of this condition upon the sufferers' daily life and helping them get back to normal.

    For more information about how Dulcolax(R) can help you, please ask your pharmacist or visit http://www.dulcolax.com

    Notes to Editors


    Dulcolax(R) (bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate) is a safe(3-8) and effective laxative available worldwide for the gentle yet effective treatment of constipation(3),(5-11). The active ingredients in Dulcolax(R) act only where they are needed, in the colon,(3-4),(13-26) and stimulate the natural movements of the bowels, alleviating the symptoms of constipation.

    The Burden of Constipation on Quality of Life: A Multi-National Survey

    The Burden of Constipation on Quality of Life survey is a multi-national survey carried out between June and October 2005. It was conducted in seven countries; the UK, USA, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil and South Korea and was divided into two phases: constipated people were included in the first phase, non-constipated people were interviewed in the second phase. The results give new insights into how constipation impacts on quality of life and highlights a real need for the emotional element to be considered when treating the condition, as well as the physical aspect of it.

    Boehringer Ingelheim

    The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 137 affiliates in 47 countries and 38,400 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 2006, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 10.6 billion euro while spending 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 7th largest supplier of self-medication products. For more information, visit http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com

    For more information please visit http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/


    (1). Wald A, Scarpignato C, Kamm MA et al. The Burden of Constipation on Quality of Life. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2007;26 (2):277-36.

    (2). Müller-Lissner SA, Kamm MA, Scarpignato C, Wald A. Myths and Misconceptions About Chronic Constipation. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2005;100(1):232-42. Review.

    (3). Kienzle-Horn S, Vix JM, Schuijt C, Peil H, Jordan CC, Kamm MA. Comparison of bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate in the treatment of chronic constipation. Curr Med Res Opin 2007;23(4):691-699

    (4). Kienzle-Horn S, Vix JM, Schuijt C, Peil H, Jordan CC, Kamm MA. Efficacy and safety of bisacodyl in the acute treatment of constipation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2006;23(10):1479-1488.


    (6). American Gastroenterological Association. American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement: Guidelines on Constipation. Gastroenterology 2001;119:1761-1778.

    (7). Kienzle-Horn S, Vix JM, Schuijt C, Peil H, Jordan CC, Kamm MA. Efficacy and safety of bisacodyl in the acute treatment of constipation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2006;23(10):1479-1488

    (8). Wulkow R, Vix J-M, Schuijt C, et al. Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to investigate the efficacy and safety of the acute use of sodium picosulfate in patients with chronic constipation. United European Gastroenterology Week. 21-25 October 2006, Berlin, Germany. Abstract number WED-G-41.

    (9). Schiller LR. Review article: the therapy of constipation. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2001;15:749-763.

    (10). Müller-Lissner SA, Beil W et al. Modern therapy with Laxatives. Uni-Med Verlag, Bremen, 2001.

    (11). American Food and Drug Administration. Tentative monograph Part 334 - Laxative drug products for over-the-counter human use. Federal Register 1985;50(10):2151-2158.

    (12). Ruidisch M, Hutt H-J, Konig E. Long-term laxative treatment with bisacodyl. Ärztliche Forschung 1994;41:1-8.

    (13). Fork F, Ekberg O, Nilsson G, et al. Colon cleansing regimens. A clinical study in 1200 patients. Gastrointestinal Radiology 1982;7:383-389.

    (14). Present A, Jansson B, Burhenne H, et al. Evaluation of 12 colon-cleansing regimens with single-contrast barium enema. Seminars in Roentgenology 1982;139(5):855-860.

    (15). Desa-Souza J, Daftary S, Budwani K, et al. Clinical trial with Dulcolax suppositories. Journal of J J Group Hospitals and Grant Medical College 1961;6(4):301- 304.

    (16). Brocklehurst J. Treatment of constipation and faecal incontinence in old people. Practitioner 1964;193:779-782.

    (17). Smith J, Schwartz E. Evaluation of a new contact laxative, bisacodyl (Dulcolax), in obstetrics and gynaecology. Western Journal of Surgery, Obstetrics, and Gynecology 1964;72:177-180.

    (18). Eid C, Martel W, Tupper C. The use of bisacodyl (Dulcolax) in preparation for barium enema examination. Journal - Michigan State Medical Society 1961;60:1546-1549.

    (19). Sowerbutts J. Use of bisacodyl in preparation of the bowels for a barium enema. Gut 1960;1:175-177.

    (20). Fitzsimons P, Shorvon P, Frost R, et al. A Comparison of Golytely and Standard Preparation for Barium Enema. Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal 1987;38:109-112.

    (21). Rings E, Mulder C, Tytgat G. The effect of bisacodyl on whole-gut irrigation in preparation for colonoscopy. Endoscopy 1989; 21(4):172-173.

    (22). Mundinger A, Dengel H, Leibersperger H. Comparative study of two regimens for preparation of the colon before a double-contrast study: Prepacol versus Recinal capsules with enema. Der Radiologe 1990;30(1):34- 38.

    (23). Mahieu P. Comparative evaluation of a new cleansing method of the colon before double-contrast barium enema: Routine colonic lavage is no longer required. Journal Belge de Radiologie 1989;72(6):475-479.

    (24). Burlefinger R, Ottenjann R. Short-lavage for whole-gut irrigation. Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 1991;29(8):404-405.

    (25). Brady C, DiPalma J, Beck D. Effect of Bisacodyl on Gut Lavage Cleansing for Colonoscopy. Annals of Clinical Research 1987;19:34-38.

    (26). Voderholzer W, Morena M-A, Schindlbeck N, et al. The influence of bisacodyl on human colon motility in vitro. Gastroenterology 2000;118(4), Suppl 2, Part 1, A838

ots Originaltext: Boehringer Ingelheim
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

For any further information, please contact: Dr. Reinhard Malin,
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, 55216 Ingelheim, Germany, Tel.:
+49-(0)6132-77-90815, Fax: +49-(0)6132-77-6601

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