We updated our 2010 systematic review on the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of constipation in children. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases; clinical trial registries; and reference lists of included studies were searched to February 2017 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) performed in children, with no language restriction. The primary outcome measure was treatment success, as defined by the investigators. We included seven RCTs with a total of 515 participants. Included trials were heterogeneous with respect to study population, probiotic strains, dosages, study duration, and follow-up. Pooled results of two RCTs showed no significant difference between the Lactobacillus rhamnosus casei Lcr35 and placebo groups with respect to treatment success. Other probiotics were studied in single trials only. There was no significant difference between the probiotic and control groups with respect to treatment success. While some probiotic strains showed some effects on defecation frequency, none of the probiotics had beneficial effects on frequency of fecal incontinence or frequency of abdominal pain. Adverse events were rare and not serious.
European Journal of Pediatrics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2017
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