Pain medication & Constipation

minirose1February 18, 2006

Hi, I'm trying to find out how to combat constipation from taking pain medication. My husband has to control pain in his back and hip, due to injuries from a bad fall years ago and he is having a lot of trouble with constipation. If anyone is in similiar shape and has discovered a way to deal with the constipation, would love to hear what works for you. Thanks

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Maintain a diet adequate in fiber (fresh fruit and vegetables), drink plenty of water and exercise. If this is not enough, speak with your husband's dr. He might recommend a stool softener. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 5:32PM
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I have always had a terrible time with constipation. My doctor prescibed Miralax. It is not a laxitive, but helps by adding water to the stool, keeping it soft and easy to pass. If a presription is not possible, try over the counter Benefiber. It is tasteless and can be added to any soft food or any liquid without being detected. Along with the Benefiber, I take 2 stool softeners a day. These items are expensive if you get the brand name, but are available as generics or store brand. (try Walmart) After surgery and much pain meds these things worked well for me. And as stated above, talk to you Doctor before trying anything new.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 7:58AM
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Thanks Socks12345 and gazania for your input. I had failed to say that he was taking fiber and stool softener already, but still was having a terrible time. I read somewhere that people on pain medication maybe shouldn't increase the fiber a whole lot due to the amount of extra water needed. Does anybody know if you can get too much fiber and maybe it backfire on you?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 3:04PM
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I don't know if too much fiber could be a problem other than it can make you feel gassy and bloated. Do ask your doctor about the Miralax that I mentioned in the previous post.It is a powder that can also be mixed with any liquid. It worked well for me before and after surgery. I am handicapped and get practically no exercise. Add that to abdominal surgery and pain meds. Even though I eat a high fiber diet and drink plenty of water, I really needed more help and the miralax did it.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:02PM
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Will check out the Miralax,gazania, the next visit to the doctor. Sounds like it might be something to try. We've got to find something that works better than what he's doing now. I try to keep the meals pretty high fiber, but something is still not quite right. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:53PM
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If he eats cold cereal Uncle Sam (US) cereal is wonderful. It contains flax seed and the cereal is often recommended for patients with this problem. It takes a few days to start working, but then kicks in.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Is he eating a high fiber cereal for breakfast?...Something like All Bran or Bran buds? if not he soulde be....and all bread shoudl be something like Sara Lee whole grain....2 slices provide 30% of daily fiber requirements. Is he eating a good sized bowl of lettuce every day? and at least 4 more servings of 1/2 a cup or more of vegetables? If not....he's not getting the fiber he needs ....and he should be drinking at least a quart of water a day.
Learn to make oat bran muffins with chopped prunes and almonds....they are really delicious with some added cinnamon and vanilla extract....served hot with a bit of strawberry jam!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 9:47PM
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Thanks to everyone for your help. Since my first post, we have made a few changes. Mainly, stopping the fiber capsules and using Metamucil (which I had tried to get him to use before, but he didn't like it much) while still taking the stool softener. It seems to be working much better for him. I really think he was not consuming enough liquid for the capsules and that they were working against him. It got pretty scary there for a few days as nothing seemed to be helping him and when he finally did have a movement, it was so hard for him he would be shaking and just not in good shape. Last week I made bran muffins and fixed cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower soup and beans and nothing helped. This was with the stool softener, laxatives, supposotories, walking, you name it. Anyway, things are looking up and I would advise anyone to be careful with the fiber capsules. Think I will make more muffins with the chopped prunes as suggested. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 10:12AM
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How kind you are to help your husband so much. All that fiber will be good for you too!! Best wishes.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 12:27PM
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I went through exactly what your husband was and this is what helped me. I quit all the others mentioned above and bought Equate cherry flavored milk of Magnesia from Wal-Mart. Good luck to you both.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 4:16PM
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Thanks Deb for your good wishes. We are still working on this, but it is going a bit better. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 2:31PM
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I take the Walmart equivalent of Fibre Com - two tablets each morning and though it says one cup of liquid, I have two full cups of coffee (one pint). Works for me. What also helps is a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter! Found that out accidently. I too hate metamucil and refuse to drink that stuff.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 6:52PM
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This has always worked to people I used to take care of...I am a retired the morning drink a cup of hot prune juice and eat a bowl of Uncle Sam Cereal. I get the cereal for $1.99/box at Trader Joe's. And drink plenty of water!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 11:50PM
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Dried prune is supposed to help too, also a apple before going to bed, my mother in law claims that she can't eat honey, it will make her to goo...???

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 1:47PM
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Well, another update on the problem. He is doing so much better now, but sure can not let up on the treatment. He did add prunes and is still taking the stool softener and using the generic form of Metimucil. I can only imagine the degree of relief for him, I am certainly a lot relieved and it wasn't physically affecting me, just mentally. Thanks again for all your help!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:09AM
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The prunes will help a great deal. They stimulate the bowel action. That seems to be the problem with the pain meds, they slow down the peristaltic action of the bowel and the waste simply does not move on. Adding additional fiber to the diet will sometimes make things worse as the stool becomes bulkier, but does not move any better. However, some fiber is needed. Stick with the prunes, add a few more daily, until you find a satisfactory amount that does the trick but does not cause cramping.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 4:43PM
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Put a couple of dried chopped apricots in his cereal.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:10AM
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After my surgery for my back in bowels never did wake back would be days and then it was hard balls.....(sorry) I went to the health food store and bought this herb stuff called Dr. Schulze's intestinal Formula #1. (I am sure there are other brands, but this is the one I did)And let me tell you, I have never had such a nice way of finally going poo...LOL...You start off with one capsule with dinner.....the next morning you went....but it was still hard....went cramps or anything.....the next night you take 2 day you go again, and a couple times.....boy, I felt much better....I can't remember exactly if I went 2-3 times that day, but then the 3rd night I took 2 again, and then today, I had loose bowels....not like diarrhea, but you can tell it was time to not take anything tonight....It has been since the end of January for my back surgery...(I had 2 herniated disks) and to be so constipated for that long...I did the stool softeners that they gave me, too.....but they never really got me going....I did the prunes....this is all natural herbal formula, and it didn't make me hurt going....I do believe in the doc's, but always did believe in good eating habits and some supplements.....So I went to my health food store and asked......I feel a lot better in that department of my health....LOL

Good Luck to your DH!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 10:46PM
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It seems that this post has been around for a very long time. But it is full of very good information. I hope by now, your husband is great.

Thank you so much everyone for all this information. I'm suffering from the same problem and I'm sick of dealing with it. I'm sure that I wont have to much longer with all these different solutions.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:47AM
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Miralax is great, and not a prescription. If the person is taking a multivitamin with Calcium, or Calcium of any type, add Magnesium - 200 to 400 mg a couple of times a day, which will also help. Meanwhile exercise, fluids and HOT prune juice every morning will go a long way to getting or, hopefully keeping things moving - pun intended.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 6:37PM
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A big green salad every day, drink 1-2 quarts of water, take magnesium, (I have a constipation remedy that has magnesium as its primary ingredient). I also like Smooth Move herbal tea by Traditional Medicinals. It's mainly senna, and even comes in chocolate flavor!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 4:33AM
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I now take berry flavored Metamucil and some prunes plus 3
tablespoons of olive oil daily. still have a rough time
getting it out. I will try some of these suggestions, hope they will help. went to my doctor today he gave me a name of
Mira-lax which is mentioned in some of these articles. He
recommended I use it to at least have 1 decent bowel movement
a week. Thanks and God Bless.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:01PM
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I have also had the same problem for several years and have found that if I use a full medicine cup of Phillips Milk of Magnesia daily then I will always be able to go have a soft bowel movement. Hope this helps you.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Had he stopped any meds before this started. I took fish oil for several months and when I stopped I had a serious, very serious constipation problem. I finally went back on them every other day. I tapered off again with no problem.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 7:56PM
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The best remedy for constipation is a diet rich in fiber and drinking enough fluids.

Prune juice has been a favorite for many years. Prunes are one of the rare foods that contain both insoluble and soluble fibers.

Senna is a strong-acting herb that stimulates peristalsis. Buy it is not safe to use senna for long-term, chronic constipation.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 9:21AM
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I have suffered sence I left The hospital. My Doctor Told My To get an herble tea called smooth Move, It does Help.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 7:26PM
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I've been using Ducolax, Miralax, Milk of Magnesia, and Prune juice which all helps. My Dr. also prescribed me Amitizia.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 6:28PM
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I've been using Ducolax, Miralax, Milk of Magnesia, and Prune juice which all helps. My Dr. also prescribed me Amitizia. I've been on Fentnyl 25mcg and 120mg of MS for 3 years after 3 lft shoulder replacements the last one being a reverse replacement. Believe me I know the pain. Sometimes the constipation is worse than the surgeries LOL. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 6:33PM
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I am on pain meds due to spinal problems and also have problems with constipation. I am taking Miralax but still feel that my bowels are not emptying completely. I have tried many of the remedies mentioned here and they all help some but not enough _ so tired of the discomfort. I have just discovered something called Amitizia and see that jakmak52 is taking it. I wonder jak if you would be so kind as to tell me what your thoughts are on it and how it is working for you? Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:34PM
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I had surgery last october and my doc said take stool softeners as long as I am on the meds.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:19PM
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