28th Sep 2017
Is your medicine making you constipated?
Author: Ben Hocking
constipated person

Diet often cops the lion’s share of the blame when it comes to bowel obstruction, but constipation is a common side effect of many medications you may be taking.

Some common medications that can cause constipation are antidepressants, opioids, as well as blood pressure and allergy medications.

Older adults can be more susceptible to the constipation side effect of medications because of a digestive system that is off balance.

The situation can be exacerbated if you are taking several medications.

Warning signs to watch out for, particularly if you are starting new medication, are:

  • Having bowel movements too infrequently (typically fewer than three times a week)
  • Having hard or small, lumpy stools
  • Having stools that are hard to pass
  • Straining
  • Having painful bowel movements
  • Having the sensation of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement.

If you are suffering from medication constipation you can increase your fibre intake with beans and leafy greens. You should also look at using a fibre supplement with psyllium seed or husk, such as Metamucil, to try and improve the regularity of your bowel movements.

Other things that can improve constipation include drinking plenty of water throughout the day and keeping physically active. Walking twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes can also help keep you more regular.

There are other medications you can take to relieve your constipation symptoms, but before resorting to that it can be worthwhile to ask your GP if there are alternatives to your medication, ones that will not affect your gut health. It is safe to use laxatives and stool softeners daily for constipation caused by medicine.



    To make a comment, please register or login

    2nd Oct 2017
    Another helpful medication is Actilax.
    2nd Oct 2017
    As mentioned above, some pain killers cause constipation and its the last thing a person needs when they have pain.
    Metamucil is good but contains aspartamine sweetner. Even so it tastes good.
    Stool softeners like Coloxyl available without a script.
    Even Microlax mini enemas available over the counter, if things get really drastic.
    3rd Oct 2017
    Why do they always suggest drinking more water? You only need to eat more fruit and vegetables, juicier the better. Natural fibre with every meal.

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