Comparison between soap and Dulcolax Rectal Suppository in Bowel Training

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Nalintip Tamnanthong
Jitra Wongwiwattananont
Weerachai Kowsuwon


The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and the results of bowel training with soap and bowel training with Dulcolax rectal suppositories in paraplegic patients who had spinal cord lesions.  The subjects were 8 males (average age 24.6 years) and 2 females (average age 30.5 years) who had spinal cord injuries at the level of T4-L1.  The subjects were divided into 2 groups, 5 each, by the block randomization method.  The first group received soap rectal suppositories once a day for 4 days, then changed to Dulcolax rectal suppositories for another 4 days.  The second group received Dulcolax rectal suppositories during the first 4 days and then changed to soap rectal suppositories for 4 days.  The purpose of the suppositories was to induce bowel movements so that the patients would defecate only when using suppositories and avoid accidental bowel movements there after.  The efficacy of the suppositories in inducing defecation was 32% for soap and 41% for Dulcolax, which rates were not statistically significant.

The result of bowel training with soap rectal suppositories which caused no accidental bowel movement was 100%.  The result with Dulcolax rectal suppositories was 90% because there were 4 accidental bowel movements.  Proctoscopic examination showed no complications in any cases.  Two patients had mild abdominal discomfort and one had diarrhea after using Dulcolax.


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