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Morphine and Severe Constipation

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Pain Medications
I've been on morphine now for 2 weeks since I was up to 60 mg of vicodin with no relief. My surgery last week was canceled AFTER I got there. My ns was on call and so they have me scheduled for tomorrow. This has been torure for me. Now I can't have a bm. It's been about a week. I've drank juices, including a whole bottle of prune juice :/
I've taken 12 dulcolax tablets in the past four days, did an enema and then last night I tried a suppository. I am so sick to my stomach and it hurts. I've done everything my doc said, and I'm afraid to call him, because what if they won't do my surgery tomorrow because of an underlying issue?

Any input would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!


  • Hi Luna,
    It doesn't say whether you have had your surgery or resoled your issues. I have been on narcotics for over 4 years. I was determined not to be on another medication-stool softener of laxative so I looked for a dietary solution. I will say that I used Mirolax after a very complicated hysterectomy which worked well but it is a process not for some one in the severe bouts of constipation or even close.

    I eat yogurt with a serving of Kellogg All Bran Yogurt bites daily. I was severally prone to constipation prior and this has been incredible. I would suggest not eating too much at a time unless you are wiling to head the other way!

    I am on Kadian 220 mg q d (long acting morphine) and MSIR fast acting morphine.
  • I would certainly let my surgeon know that constipation was a really BIG issue now! You don't want to be straining AFTER the surgery!!! It may delay your surgery, but you need to let them know.
  • Thanks. I'll try those; have my last shopping trip today before surgery tomorrow. Anything's gotta be better than prune juice.
  • I probably should give the doc a call; even as scared as I am.
  • My mother-in-law almost died because of this! It caused an infection and put her in ICU for almost 2 weeks. It was touch and go. Please, please do call him.

    I've been asked so many times about my bowel movements and it gets old. I have been taking Psyllium Husk (Many different variations, I prefer Metamucil) long before I became a pain patient and have never had this type of trouble or problem.(On the 7s, so to speak) The Patch, Oxycontin, MS Contin, etc.
  • My mother-in-law almost died because of this! It caused an infection and put her in ICU for almost 2 weeks. It was touch and go. Please, please do call him.

    I've been asked so many times about my bowel movements and it gets old. I have been taking Psyllium Husk (Many different variations, I prefer Metamucil) long before I became a pain patient and have never had this type of trouble or problem.(On the 7s, so to speak) The Patch, Oxycontin, MS Contin, etc.
  • I take 2 colace and Milk of Magnesia mostly everyday and a fleet enema if needed. If no movement after a few days for sure go to ER. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • i would recommend those probiotic yogurts on the market. eat one for breakfast and another for a snack or desert. the vanilla flavor is amazing. like some already mentioned, i learned to eat 'lite', about 1/2 of what i would normally eat. and drink as many glasses of water a day you can handle. i drink about 4 or 6; sometimes i use miralax sometimes not.

  • There is a liquid you buy at any drug store. I forget the name of it. You drink it if you are having surgery the next day or need to be "cleaned out".

    If I can remember get the name, I will update this message.

    You are supposed to take it on an empty stomach (well, before you eat anything - if you're constipated, you sure are NOT empty!). WHATEVER YOU DO, do not - I repeat DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. You will have serious action within the hour (maybe 2).

    It's good stuff. I promise I will get the name of it and get back with you.

    For future remedies, there is a medication (OTC) called Colace that is supposed to be helpful for consitpation caused by medication.

    I am lactose intolerant. What's been working for me is that each night for supper, I have a bowl of cereal. Usually takes affect the next day.

    I wish you lots of luck, hon. My mother has this problem and it's HORRIBLE for her. As others have stated, it's NOT healthy. At all.

    Jeaux :B
  • This type of constipation can not be solved with fiber! It will only cause more compaction. You should never ever go more than 3 days without BM or seek medical attention. This can be very serious. The constipation that opiates cause is not the same as the run of the mill lack of fiber. I urge you to contact your doc. Compaction in the intestines can become an emergency surgery situation quick. from the sounds of your nausea you need to seek medical attention asap. Please keep us posted.
  • you call your doctor and get some immediate relief. Going forward, I recommend Miralax. It doesn't have a bad taste and isn't gritty like fiber drinks. I use it every day.

    I hope you have surgery tomorrow.

  • I actually had a horrible problem with this when I first started taking methadone. I take fish oil every single day and it has not only drastically lowered my cholesterol but has also kept me regular. Miralax is safe and effective but my doc said not to use more than 2-3 x a week max. Everyone is different though.

    Jeaux, I know what you are talking about. The little green bottle that you use the day before a colonoscopy? The pharmacist will help you find that. Is it magnesium citrate??
    I think it is.
  • I have run into that problem over the years and ended up in the ER because everything was impacted....needless to say, I had to be "manually" cleaned out. It is not a nice process, but can be necessary when you get to that point.

    When I'm on the narcotic drugs, I always have trouble with constipation, no matter WHAT I take, so there are certain drugs I just don't take any more. I was taking a liquid called "Lactulose" which tastes like corn syrup; it's supposed to be one of the best, but even that didn't do the trick.

    I agree with painintheback....don't mess with constipation when it gets to this point, as it only gets worse, no matter what you try to do.

    Hopefully things have settled down for you by now!!

  • Take note of all these comments, I was on Morphine and then after 10 days I had Severe Constipation in that I could not do a number 2 for 3 days or more or wee for 24 hours, I had to go to hospital as I was in a great deal of pain, sent home to wait for help, later that night two nurses came to sort me out by that time I was in a great deal of pain I could not even walk and all the pain went to my back all my bad joints went crazy and I was in a sorry state, now I am on Tramadol but I use Movocol this will help it helps me.
  • Painintheback: I think it was a clear bottle and maybe the brand was FLEET? Okay everyone stop laughing! I DID read the instructions and it told me to DRINK it, not prepare it in a water bottle and insert in my "other end"!

    Of course, that was over 7 years ago I used it, so the packaging may have changed, but I am pretty sure (although not positive) it was made by FLEET.

    Oh, and YES, this type of constipation is totally different
    than the kind you would get from a lack of fiber. So, yes, be careful how you proceed on this...

    Anyhoo, I hope you all have some "relief".


  • Newbie here. =)
    I was sitting here looking for some info. on this subject and found you.......YAYYYYYYYYY! I am glad to know that I am not the only oine who suffers with this.
    It is AWFUL!! I can go about 3 days and then I am in bad trouble. I can take laxatives with stool softeners, but need 3 instead of 2.....along with Acidophilis (2) and then get some cramps, but no action. I also will drink a good sized glass of prune juice....again, crapms but no real action expect sitting on the toilet. ~X( I can feel the stool in my rectum and check it out with a latex glove and vaseline to find that the stool feels like "razor blades"....great for my hemorrhoids! :''( I then resort to a FLEETS enema or a FLEETS oil softerner enema. Once that first stool is out, the rest comes along. Usually real loose as the prune juice has done it's work. Sick to my stomach? You bet!! I don't want to go anywhere.
    I tried to cut back on my Oxycodone a dose, but the pain is too bad.
    My history is a bad fall at work on a wet floor which led to 2 total knee replacements and my lower back stenosis.
    I am on the Fentanyl patch for the chronic pain an the Oxycodone for the break through of which I can take up to 3 a day, but I do alright on 2.
    I am also on the Lidoderm Patches for my back, but I do not believe that they have morphine in them.
    Any idea's? I am so sick of the consitpation.......the rest I can deal with.
    Thanks for all responses.
  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    It says on the label not to use for more then 7 days. Can this product be used long term? I take 2 types of morphine.
    I have tried generic Senakot and Metamucil with limited sucess.

  • That's a good question Art! I take 2 Colace and Milk of Magnesia everyday and I haven't told my Dr. I'm not sure if there would be any harm to you to take these laxatives more than a week.
    And for those 50 years old don't forget to get an appt. to GI Specialist for your colonoscopy!
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    It's been 2 years since I had my last colonoscopy. I know I'm about due.
    Right now the back is my priority. Looks like others use Miralax daily. I'll have to give it a try.

  • This is a follow up to what I wrote and what the new messages are.
    I have tried and tried Milk of Magnesia. OMG! It makes me so sick to my stomach. I have tried the regula, mint and cherry. Ususally it doesn't work at all. But anything that I take doesn't work, but when I do a FLEETS enema any stool behing the hard stool is almost liquid. Today I actually went on my own after having some cramps. I did a FLEETS yesterday morning so I am sure that this is still some of the results coming back. Anyway.........I don't have to worry about going today. :)
  • Dear Luna, I was on morphine for ten days, sure it helped with the pain, but I was a walking zombie. I had your problems and it was not any fun at all. I used stool softeners and benefibre that I use every day. You could talk to a pharmisist because they are well educated as far as medications. Sometimes more than your doc. I ended up cutting myself off cold turkey, not a good idea. It was terrible. After much relundance, I tried Lyrica. It is not a narcotic, Minimum side effects if any. It has done me alot of good. The really good thing is that my head is now clear. Lyrica is an anticonvulsant that is used for epilepsy, as well for diabetes with neuropathy. Tjey have found it is very successful for pain relief. Good Luck, and I am with the others, try a fleet enema, or there are oral fleets as well. Take care. Nancy
  • Just thought i'd add a nod for lyrica :-) been on it for 4 weeks for the radiculopathy pain, and it has been the only thing to save my sanity! I still have pain, but the pain is so mild compared to what i went through before they put me on it. Its a medication you have to build up in your system so in the first few days i was a bit sleepy (but not dopy and less sleepy than with narcs) - my only side effect with it is that my short term memory is a little absentminded... but nothing i can't cope with. May not be for everybody, but i've personally found it to be a life saver. btw, its also used alot for fibro now.
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • Hay guys, when you are stil constipated after taking MOM, Mag Citrate, and finally a Fleet Enema and you still don't get results, it's time to pull out the old fountain Douch/Enema Bag. This is the only thing that works for me. It is quite evident that after taking all those other laxative and there's no action, then you all are severely dehydrated. Fill the Fountain bag with tap water and give this a try. You should get dependable and easy results instantly. We have gotten away from some of the Basic's of Life. This remedy dates back to the Egyptians in years BC.
  • For extra cleaning effect, add juice of 4 squeezed lemons to two quarts of water, OR, use two tablespoons of white Vinegar to two quarts of water.

    By the way I am NOT a Medical Doctor, but I have worked in the Medical Field for 34 years.
  • I take 60-80mg of Methadone for my pain management.

    I have found that the single most effective thing for me is to eat a big bowl of Shredded Wheat each night before bed.

    I like the Kellogs Blueberry Frosted Mini-Wheats with nice cold milk and a sprinkling of Fruity Pebbles.

    I generally have at least one nicely full bowl, sometimes two.

    It works better than any meds I ever tried.

    Also, and sorry if this is indelicate...
    When I'm on the toilet and I need to push a bit, I try blowing my nose.

    You see, rather than straining with muscles, this inflates the diaphragm and puts pressure directly on top of your intestines.
  • I never heard of blowing your nose, but, I can sort of see how that works. Blowing your nose is very similar to Coughing when the Dr. tells you to turn your head and cough. It releives stress on the colon wall.
  • Hi all......
    I haven't checked in lately, but.....since I started taking Fish Oil capsules and 3 Senna S tablets every other night, things have been going much better. I wait for some cramping in the mornings and then go sit for a bit and get results. I still have FLEETS enemas on stand-by but haven't needed any in a while. (Keeping fingers crossed here.) :D
  • Being on lortab since the summer and morphine since December, I take 2 of the Equate "Vegetable Laxative" ( cant remember what it is the generic for but it has semnosides 8.6 mg on the front of the bottle...that is the laxative and I take 6-8 of the generic of Colace.

    I've only been eating once a day, and I have absolutely no BM or gas, without taking these pills. I used to only take them once a week but I've been trying to take them more often as I know I need to have a BM. FOrtunately have never really been bothered with any type of pain or uncomfortableness even going once a week.

    Please find something that works. It seems so terribly ironic that sometimes with back pain and surgeries, the BMs afterwards can be NIGHTMAREISH!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,728
    :sick: Crappy subject =))
    But I don't like to get used to more pills. So Ive been taking Dannon activia. And at lest 3 servings of different fruit. And switching the type of fruit every couple of days.It works well for me and its healthy. Tell me how everything comes out =)) I just like that little guy too!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!

  • Don't take constipation lightly. About ten years ago I get call from a friend complaining about severe cramps. He told me he had not gone for 4 days or so. I took him to the hospital and after the initial exam they rushed him into surgery. The doctor told me if had waited much longer he coul have died. All this from a simple blockage.
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