• Constipation

    Asked by MichaelP on Saturday, February 7, 2015


    I am on 2 pain meds, 2 diuretics, folic acid, steroids, etc. Lately I've been having a terrible time with constipation. I take a stool softener with laxative too. Any ideas on something else to try. I drink a lot of different fluids during the day and night

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • sjdj23's Avatar

      They gave my husband Miralax. Also try to eat fruits/veggies/fiber. Pain meds are notorious for getting constipation. I hope you find relief soon.

      over 1 year ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar

      When I was undergoing chemo, I had terrible constipation - it really alarmed me! I took a senna-based laxative. Senna is quite powerful, and there are also some teas available through health stores (often sold under the guise of "diet" teas - mallow is another good laxative). Straight cod liver oil or mineral oil may help. Epsom salts may also be used (a couple of teaspoons in a cup of water), but PLEASE check with your physician FIRST since the epsom may be contraindicated by the other meds that you're taking. A sitz bath may be soothing, too. I also looked online for foods to help things along, such as spinach and prunes.

      Good luck, and when all else fails, there's always the good ol' enema...

      Seriously, if it doesn't seem to abate, call the doctor on duty, or even go to the ER.

      over 1 year ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      Fleet enema everyday.....Plant based diet......Magnesium everyday AND Vit C Powder......start high like 8,000 and if you are too loose go down to 5,000 and use it with the rest. Eventually you just might need just some stool softeners.....experiment with all these. You can try them all and be loose for a week and then cut back a little bit here and there until you have it just right. Good Luck.

      over 1 year ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      Prune juice and Citrucel or Metamucil. Try to walk as much as possible, chair exercises-- our GI system is a muscle that runs from our mouth to the anus. I'm a fan of mineral oil-that works quickly. It works really good on horses.

      My youngest grandson ate some yellow plastic pellets and got plugged up. The older grandson came over and was shooting that gun. I thought that I found all of them. My baby had that cry, and he reminded me of a plugged up horse. I gave him half of a teaspoon of mineral oil, and continued to walk and pat the little rug rat. Then he filled up his diaper. I showed them- everybody. That gun wasn't allowed in the house again. My husband and the baby's momma shut up. They thought that he was teething and just gonna let him cry it out. Just make sure that you don't have a cancer blocking your gut.

      over 1 year ago
    • keahemalie's Avatar

      Drink water, water and more water! I had awful constipation with chemo and pain meds. Best for me was pericolace and/or miralax. Because I was so blocked up, I held off on adding a lot of fiber until things got moving again then gradually increased high fiber foods. There's also "Smooth Move" tea from the health food store. Good luck!

      over 1 year ago
    • adf3's Avatar

      If the really good suggestions above don't do the trick then get your provider to prescribe Lactulose. It's about the best oral laxative you can get. Otherwise like Barryboomer says...try enemas frequently and drink water.

      over 1 year ago
    • greytmomm's Avatar

      Over the counter stuff is too harsh for me. Lots of water plus the herbs physilliam (sp) + cascara secrata. Any vitamin store or natural store has it. Take it at night and by the morning it works. No cramping or anything.

      over 1 year ago
    • lindseyrose's Avatar

      I was my dads caretaker, and constipation was a huge issue on so many pain medications. I was told by hospice that for every pain pill you take, you should take 2 senna along with it (stool softener), and it was sometimes up to four at a time every four hours. It is a natural, more mild laxative that doesn't/shouldn't cause cramping. If needed I was told to give him miralax before bed, or the strongest, milk of magnesia before bed (but this can cause cramping and discomfort, so that shouldn't be every day) Obviously drinking water, but I know its hard to drink as much as you need and then some when you're on pills that make you sick to your stomach. Also, something that might help is apple juice or fruit cups a few times a day, might be better going down.

      over 1 year ago
    • Dianem's Avatar

      Try activia on a daily basis. In combination with some of the suggestions above, should help

      over 1 year ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      You must drink at least 10 bottles of water every day...take double or triple the amount of probiotic tablets, eat plenty of fiber and protein..eat 10 dired prunes per day and move.. get exercise.

      I had very little constipation with this plan. and very little gas.

      The nestle water is great.. and make sure to recycle the bottles. Buying the water helps keep track of the number you are drinking. What ever works but at least 10 per day.

      If you have a port they can hydrate you ..even if you don't they can still run hydration through the line as well before Chemo..

      over 1 year ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      i am not fond of the miralax stuff.

      over 1 year ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      Prune Juice, Milk of Magnesia, Coffee and Warm up every morning. AND make sure you stay close to the JOHN.

      over 1 year ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      Milk of Magnesia usually does the trick for me, especially after surgery. I learned this the hard way, pun intended!

      over 1 year ago
    • Jean-Luc's Avatar

      That is what started it all for me: back pain, then constipation so severe that I spend THREE ENTIRE WEEKS without pooping at all. :(
      My wife and I thought I may die from it. We didn't even think it was possible to be constipated that gravely for so long.

      Then when I finally got it moving again (still not perfect but I can poop most days now), I still had so much pain (which I could no longer put on the constipation tab), so that eventually after different tests including an endoscopy (we still thought it was possibly gut related at that point, and that I could have an ulcer), my family doctor ordered a cat scan, and on Christmas Eve her husband (also a doctor) phoned us at home (as she was away) and suggested urgently that we go to the ER to be admitted as it looked like there was a big chance I had a cancer from what the scan showed (two weeks before that, we did go to the ER to be basically sent home because my vitals were perfect... no matter if it was obvious I was in terrible pain).
      So he phoned the ER to make sure they would admit me that time. :)

      Anyway, I was taking miralax, milk of magnesia, and stool softeners, even magnesium citrate, castor oil and enemas to try and get my gut moving, but it didn't work that well.
      Eventually I got to the point where I still took the stool softener, but stopped taking the laxatives, as my doctor suggested that it might eventually make the problem worse by making my gut lazy if I took too many of them for too long.
      And she was right.
      Real food helps the most, I found, and keeping eating even when it is not easy is giving enough of a push that the poop keeps flowing and getting out.
      I do pellets now though, which is weird, but is easy to clean up and saves on toilet paper costs! ;)

      over 1 year ago
    • MichaelS's Avatar

      PCP told me to drink 64 oz of water and take Miralax two or three times a day starting the day before chemo. I drank more. Drinks like soda, crystal light and such do not help as much. Water is the best. I also ate prunes. It worked, and constipation was the most debilitating side affect of chemo besides shortness of breath. I have to keep up with the fluids and the Miralax or prunes or the stool starts to harden again. I hopefully will go on maintenance in five weeks and this may become less of a problem. The only downside is having to go to the bathroom a lot but the constipation was so painful that anything is better. Now on to the shortness of breath problem. Low hemoglobin. I take them one at a time. Set 'em up, knock 'em down. Good luck to you.

      over 1 year ago
    • Rolltidelynne's Avatar

      Clinda, a nurse pulled me aside almost immediately after my diagnosis and told me to use Senacot S every day. Even if I wasn't constipated. I didn't follow her instructions immediately and I got VERY constipated to the point of thinking I needed to go to the hospital!!! Ugh I will NEVER forget that. I asked my doctor if Senacot was ok since I am very cautious taking something he doesn't recommend first. His answer was I'm sorry I didn't warn you but YES take the Senacot! I took it daily for over a year. It eased my mind knowing I wouldn't have that issue again. I stopped taking them once I seemed ok. Again I got in a situation!! Ugh... But now I know if I have not gone to the restroom in 2 days start taking them again. It works!!! I haven't used them in a few months now and still on 2 pain meds. But they are in my medicine bag just in case:)) ask your doctor but I bet he suggests that as a daily stool softener. If you need immediate help dura lax works immediately!!!!

      over 1 year ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      When I was a Med Nurse on a Psych Unit at Aventura Hospital I saw that the Docs DON'T order the laxatives & Stool Softeners as scheduled meds. Most if not all Psych meds cause horrible constipation and for a Doc to NOT order it scheduled before the meds start was awful. I used to tell my patients to start the PRN'S before or the same day they started scheduled psych meds so as NOT to have the problem. It needs to be addressed before the problem not after. For some reason the Docs didn't seem to think this was a priority and I even got in trouble a few times for giving the PRN'S like scheduled. BUT of course when I was off on my 2 days off MY replacement wouldn't do it and by the time I came back I had a lot of my patients in Bad Constipation Problems. It's one of MANY things that I saw that I didn't like.

      over 1 year ago
    • girlmissy's Avatar

      Hey there ! Hello ? Boy can I relate !! I have other health issues besides the cancer dx, which require me to have an implanted pain management pump, plus oral meds which all contribute to chronic constipation... ugh, just saying it is embarrassing LOLOL.

      LIKE OTHERS, I too take Miralax plus a stool softener with Lax, different from just plain stool softener, check label and you can get both OTC , cheaper than brand names in Walmart brand or Walgreens brand. I take at least 2xs the Miralax powder a day, and all in all spend close to $50 on over the counter remedies recommended by my primary care.

      I also try to avoid things with flour, like pasta, breads, etc.. anything that could add to the "problem". Focus on vegs, fruits, whole grains, not white flour or potatoes. I swear, if I allow myself to "splurge" with bread, crackers, potatoes, even once a week, it takes 3 days to get some form of regularity back.

      Meds can reek havoc on your digestive tract... work with suggestions and find what works for you!

      over 1 year ago

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