37 long-stay geriatric patients were studied. All had 80% transit time (TT) in excess of 6 days. Only an average of 23% of markers were passed by day 6 and 30% of patients still had markers in situ after 2 weeks. Three daily enemas had no effect on TT and three daily enemas together with a laxative for 6 days normalized TT in 40% only. A further 3 weeks of laxatives did not prevent constipation from getting worse. The effectiveness of lactulose and poloxalkol-dihydroxyanthroquinolone, respectively, were the same and better than no treatment.