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What Drugs Cause Constipation?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

Constipation can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient condition that can affect anyone. It can be caused by a variety of things, including certain medications. In this article, we’ll explore what drugs cause constipation and what you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. Read on to learn more about the medications that can lead to constipation and the steps you can take to help your body manage the condition.

What Drugs Cause Constipation?

What Drugs Cause Constipation?

Opioids

Opioids are commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It is an effective analgesic, but it has a side effect of causing constipation. The main reason for this is that opioids are a type of drug that works by slowing down the movement of the digestive system, which in turn slows down or even stops the passage of stool from the body. Opioids also decrease the secretion of fluids in the intestines, leading to further constipation. Common opioids that are known to cause constipation include codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

How to Avoid Constipation from Opioids

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects of opioids in order to avoid constipation. Doctors may prescribe laxatives or stool softeners along with the opioid to help reduce the chances of constipation. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and eat foods high in fiber to help keep the digestive system moving.

When to See a Doctor

If the constipation persists despite the use of laxatives and other measures, it may be necessary to see a doctor. The doctor may be able to adjust the dosage of the opioid or prescribe a different type of medication. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a change in diet or lifestyle to help reduce constipation.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat various mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. While these medications can be very effective in helping to manage mental health symptoms, they can also cause side effects such as constipation. The most common antidepressants that are known to cause constipation are tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

How to Avoid Constipation from Antidepressants

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects of antidepressants in order to avoid constipation. Doctors may prescribe laxatives or stool softeners along with the antidepressant to help reduce the chances of constipation. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and eat foods high in fiber to help keep the digestive system moving.

When to See a Doctor

If the constipation persists despite the use of laxatives and other measures, it may be necessary to see a doctor. The doctor may be able to adjust the dosage of the antidepressant or prescribe a different type of medication. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a change in diet or lifestyle to help reduce constipation.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are commonly prescribed to treat allergies, colds, and other conditions that cause itching and sneezing. While these medications can be very effective in helping to manage allergy symptoms, they can also cause side effects such as constipation. The most common antihistamines that are known to cause constipation are diphenhydramine and loratadine.

How to Avoid Constipation from Antihistamines

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects of antihistamines in order to avoid constipation. Doctors may prescribe laxatives or stool softeners along with the antihistamine to help reduce the chances of constipation. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and eat foods high in fiber to help keep the digestive system moving.

When to See a Doctor

If the constipation persists despite the use of laxatives and other measures, it may be necessary to see a doctor. The doctor may be able to adjust the dosage of the antihistamine or prescribe a different type of medication. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a change in diet or lifestyle to help reduce constipation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Drugs Cause Constipation?

Answer: Many different drugs can cause constipation, including medications that are used to treat depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, and Parkinson’s disease. Common medications that can cause constipation include tricyclic antidepressants, antacids, anticholinergics, narcotics, calcium channel blockers, and iron supplements. Other drugs that can cause constipation include anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and calcium supplements.

How Can I Tell if my Medication is Causing Constipation?

Answer: If you start a new medication and find that you are experiencing constipation, there is a chance that it could be due to the medication. To determine if your medication is causing constipation, it is important to keep track of your symptoms and talk to your doctor. They can review your medication list and make sure that the drugs you are taking are not known to cause constipation.

What are the Symptoms of Constipation?

Answer: The most common symptom of constipation is infrequent or difficult bowel movements. Other symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation. Constipation can also be accompanied by nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

How Can I Avoid Constipation Caused by Medication?

Answer: If you are taking medications that are known to cause constipation, there are several steps you can take to avoid or reduce constipation. First, make sure to drink plenty of fluids. This will help to keep your stool soft and easier to pass. Additionally, it is important to get regular physical activity, as this can help to stimulate your bowels. Additionally, make sure to eat a healthy diet that is full of fiber, as this can help to keep your bowels regular. Lastly, talk to your doctor about other medications that may help to reduce constipation.

What are Some Treatment Options for Constipation?

Answer: Treatment for constipation depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is medication-related, the first step is to talk to your doctor about adjusting or changing your medication. Additionally, dietary and lifestyle modifications can be helpful in managing constipation. This includes drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly, and eating a diet that is high in fiber. Other treatment options for constipation include laxatives, enemas, and suppositories.

Are There Any Home Remedies for Constipation?

Answer: Yes, there are several home remedies that can be used to help manage constipation. Prune juice is a popular home remedy for constipation, as it is high in fiber and can help to promote regular bowel movements. Additionally, drinking warm liquids such as herbal teas can help to stimulate your bowels. Other home remedies for constipation include exercise, drinking plenty of water, and eating a diet that is high in fiber.

How do opioid medicines cause constipation?

In conclusion, there are many drugs that can cause constipation. Some of the most common culprits are opioids, antacids, anticonvulsants, and calcium channel blockers. It’s important to know the side effects of any medications you are taking, and to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any intestinal discomfort. With the right medical attention, proper dietary adjustments, and laxative use when necessary, constipation caused by medications can be managed.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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