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...The bad and the Ugly...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Pain Medications
I've browsed and seen that Constipation has been a topic in the past, but I'm going to bring it up again...

I know Constipation is a very common side effect of opiate use. I'm going on two years of round the Clock Extended release Pain meds. Currently settled on Opana ER with Percocet for Breakthrough pain. Between the meds and the intense Physical therapy, I can say that just rececently, for the first time my pain is being managed. Outside of the spine injury, I'm in pretty good health. I'm On a very srtict balanced protien/carbohydrate and high fiber diet (to control hypoglycemia) and I make a point of trying to stay hydrated. I havent really had any problems with constipation until recently. (except when i take the percocet- when i'm guaranteed two days of constipation- for this reason I almost don't take anymore).

Ayways recently I started having problems with constipation. I'm not sure what triggered the change, but i feel like its causing some problems. Also around the same time I started Sweating alot again- (this is the main resaon that i moved from ocycontin to opana)- All the time. But especially in my sleep. I sweat enough that I can become dehydrated really quickly, Which i believe in turn is making me more constipated. I think that its causing me to be a bit sluggish and worry that it could effect my health. Its definitelty reaching a point where I'm concerned.

I think also im seeing more of the other side effects like depression, anxiety and insomnia and loss of appetite.

I've heard that around the two year mark of taking opiate pain meds, there can be some hormonal changes in your body, and wonder if this is it? I cant imagine life with out pain meds right now. as I said, For the first time I feel as if the pain is managed. however its still there, ALWAYS. Its just not EVERYTHING.

Has anybody reached a point like this, where the side effects started to be more present? I'm going for my regular visit to the PM Dr next week, so I guess that I'll talk to him about Laxitives, etc., but I'm wondering if this is something common?

Also I please share any success with fighting constipation- from reading some of the older messages, it seems like its pretty tough to deal with. I really dont want to add more meds, are things like colonics something that people do for this?

Thanks in advance- anybody that's read this far is truly a compassionate persion ..heh..heh!.... Good Luck to everybody


  • I don't know about the 2 year mark thing, maybe someone else can share something about that.

    Wanted to comment on constipation. Yeah, the insensible loss of water through perspiration can actually be enough to make you more constipated. I know you don't want to add another med, but over the counter Senna is something that is supposed to naturally help counteract the constipating action of narcs. I personally like Colace(generic is very cheap) over the counter as a stool softener and peri-colace if I need the laxative effect, too. Both are very inexpensive and over the counter.

    Unless it's an acute episode, I don't believe one should rely on enema type products on a regular basis or the bowel can become dependent upon them. If it's an acute episode, I'm all about the colonics, but not on a regular basis, not so good.

    This is my personal opinion, and what works for me and those I know who live with having to take more narcs than me. Hope you find some answers for yourself, if you get some good advice from you doc, please share, we're always interested in reading others' experiences. Keep us posted.

  • I have been on oxy for two years. My PM Dr had me take Senna S, everyday to combat the effects of the meds. I also take 2 stool softners, as I also sweat at night, and also now in the day, for no apparent reason. I take them like clockwork and it just keeps everything regular. That and I try to eat fiber as much as possible. Hope this helps. It is just what I have done. I also get these in generic a walmart or walgreens alot cheaper. Love, Robin
  • I take colace and milk of magnesia at times. I drink lots of water. I drink a pitcher a day or one or 2 quarts (liters). Leave water by your bed also. Just doing mild walking around the block or house can get things going. I eat fruit, apples, raisins,pears, prunes to get the fiber. I drink green tea or other warm liquid to get things going. Also with the depression do let your Dr. know about that. Perhaps they can help you. Try to sit or walk outside a few minutes everyday to enjoy the trees.birds and relax and enjoy the sun. Take care. 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
  • hi!!! :H a smoothie every morning in the blender of 1 or 2% milk, your choice of frozen fruit(makes it thick)such as strawberries, a fresh half a banana, a little honey and psyllium. psyllium is a natural laxative and works great. =D> you must try and do your walking too and drink, drink, drink water!!!!!! :D all the best!!! Jenny :)
  • Corned beef has in it sodium phosphate. It is the liquid laxative ingredient in the Fleet product used for colon cleansing. I eat a fair amount of corned beef every single night. I also have a small bowl of oatmeal. This combo works well for me. I'm telling you...try the corned beef (if you like it). It may not be great for you, but it DEFINITELY works!
  • Thank you all alot
    I'll keep you posted about what the PM says about hormone changes after around the 2 year mark.

    ernurse- thank you too for the info on colonics- im starting to think this might just be an acute episode as you mentioned.

    Started smoking again after about 2 years without a cigarette, and with my coffee in the morning, felt a bit better.

    Can't win them all

    Thank you all again for the suggestions.
  • Hi,
    Thanks again for the input. Im not sure if its off topic, and probably pretty well known but here's some info on testosterone levels and long term opiate use:


    It was actually my Dr's PA that mentioned to me a couple of times that testosterone levels really drop off around the two year mark, which can cause some side effects like depression to be intensified. I'm going in for my monthly appt next week, and i'm going to ask, so i'll share any answers I get.

    Good luck to All and have a good Weekend.
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