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A. I. Friedman, M.D.; A. A. Alessi, M.D.
JAMA. 1954;154(15):1273-1274. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940490037009a.
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This instance of a perforation of the descending colon after the ingestion of a bulk-producing laxative is reported because a review of the literature has failed to reveal any other instance of such a complication after the use of hydrophilic colloids.


A 50-year-old white man was seen with a chief complaint of abdominal pain of seven hours' duration, which had begun 30 minutes after breakfast. The pain had been preceded by a desire to defecate, after which a knife-like excruciating pain spread from the periumbilical region over the entire abdomen and continued unabated for five hours when the patient began to vomit clear gastric juice. Two weeks previously he had complained of constipation, and his wife, who was taking a hydrophilic bulk-increasing laxative containing synthetic gum methylcellulose (Hydrolose) in plain syrup form, suggested that he use this medicament. He then took 2 tablespoons daily for two days


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