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Sever Constipation, high doses of meds

DanianneDDanianne Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Pain Medications
Hi all,

Ive been on Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Neurontin and others for neurogenic bladder for a year and a half now. I take oxycontin 30mg every 8 hours, Neurontin 800 every 8 hours, oxycodone 15mg every 4-6 or as needed. I usually take 1 or 2 of them a day.

My question is this. I have always had a slow bowel. But now over this past year and half Ive had to increase my OTC stool pills and other forms of bowl help in my diet. I take 4 pericolace ( 8.6 senna/50mg colace) 3x a day, 2 colace (100mg) 3x a day along with 3 heaping cap fulls of miralax, activia, fresh fruit and lost of veggies, oatbran for breakfast, whole wheat foods. I have been on the dose of the pill and miralax since about June. It seems about ever 8 months I'm needing to increase the dose slightly. Even currently Ive starting to have a slight prob again with constipation and straining Now I know that I'm on an extraordinarily tremendous amount of stool softeners and stimulants. But Im wondering if anyone else has this much a prob with constipation and if anyone has any advice to give me? My doc's have my medication lists but I havent actually spoken to them about this since I talked to my family doctor back a year and half ago. I havent been to see her again since my surgeon and PM manage everything. I am thinking about going back to her to talk about it and then maybe goign to a gastro doc. Could i be taking TOO MUCH fiber?? Any advice?



  • I just started Oxycontin 40 mg 3x day and am having problems also and a high fiber diet. I drink lots of water and take colace and Milk of Magnesia and that seems to help. It would be good to get an appointment with your Doctor though to see what's going on. I notice also doing my exercise bike seems to help get things going also or even a short walk. Take care and hope your appointment goes well. 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 am in aquatic PT and try to take some short walks, but perhaps i could take more. I also think maybe I need to drink more water as well. I do take MOM if the constipation gets beyond just a little harder. But I think I should go to my internal med doc again and see if she thinks I should go see a GI doc. Thanks for you input!
  • I too have always had sluggish bowel. I am on painkillers and here is what I try to do every day:

    Stool softners every day
    No less than 6 large glasses of water *and i hate water* :( but force myself to drink up.
    Activia, 2 X a day
    Something that I only recently found that does wonders for me is those fiber bars. I think the brand name is metamucil. Just make sure if you use them that you eat them with PLENTY of water.
  • I take Senekot like candy. It is a natural veggie laxative..it works wonderful for me. You can take as many as you need daily.

    Make sure you talk to your Doc if you have BM problems. I ended up in the ER a few times...not fun. Also, have had to give myself an enema a few times. I also take probiotics which mentioned above the Activia.

    Look into Senekot is has worked wonders for me...I buy the generic it works just as well.

    Good luck....I feel your pain.
  • Thanks all for you comments and advice. I do take senakot like candy as well. I take 4 pericolace 3x a day (which is 8.6 senna/50mg colace per pill) plus 2 colace 3x a day (which is 100mg per pill) plus 3x the dose of miralax a day (3 heaping caps) and then activia. I'm trying to drink more water like somone had suggested too and trying to walk alittle more. This regimen keeps me going for a while but then every 5-8 months it seems that I start to have a prob again and need to increase my dosing. Perhaps I'm getting used to the stool pill and stimulants. I deffinately want to talk with my internist when i go see her next week. Maybe it would be best if she sends me to a GI doc? i want to make sure I'm not completely screwing up my intestines with these massive doses. But it seems that yall take quite a bit of stool softeners and lax's as well. The oxy drugs are awful. I always had a sluggish bowel but since being on these, I've really had probs.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I've been on different pain killers for years from chronic pain. But always able to keep the constipation under control using mostly fruits & fiber, activia, walking, and lots of water.
    But after the last surgery (I'm 5 weeks post op) the Dr. added oxy. And I had big trouble constantly! Eric had told me it could be the oxy. I quit it and things started getting better within a couple of days. Some people just can't tolerate the oxy side effects. I use hydrocodone instead.
    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!
  • Seems to me that you are taking alot of laxitives, and stuff. I definently would talk to your Dr. I am on Fentanyl and oxycodone and dont have to take that much. But I could be way off too. Better safe than sorry is my philosophy. Good Luck, Robin
  • Ive been constipated too from my surgery, bad from the Oxy drugs, but I have taken Dulcolax that ususally gets it going. I try to time mine where my pain killers quit working when I'm asleep. I know it sucks to wake up in pain, but when I do I'm ususally running for the toilet. Constipation can be as worse as the back pain and I can't stand it. I can deal with my back pain for a couple of hours if it means to get my body going. And when I'm done take the meds. ;)

  • my advice order some movicol from your doctor .they work well .{tip..if you get them ...open the sachet and put in a cup the use boiling water abut a third full then add orange then cool down with cold water } this will make it taste almost drinkable ! i can't take it as it should be taken ie just add cold water but this tip was given to em be a nurse on a children's ward and its a good tip .also drink 4 pints of water and keep off milk if you can
  • YES!!! You can actually make the type of constipation that you get from meds worse by bulking up too much with fiber. This could cause an impaction in your intestine which can be very serious.

    Please do talk to your doc about this. You will do better by continuing the softners and adding liquid (water) to your diet. Not to say that you should stop all fiber but you probably need to balance it out.

    Good luck.
  • that people who rely heavily on stool softeners for long periods of time tend to make their bowel "lazy" so that peristalsis becomes slower.
    I would consult your doctor and see what they say about it.
  • Hi! sorry I havent posted on this in a bit, i was waiting to talk to my doc. She told me that taking the meds I am taking is OK only b/c its keeping me from being implacted. That I have to do what needs to be done in order to have a bowel movement. She said that there are cases of ppl that get black spots in their rectum from long term stimulant use (senna) but I have only been taking stimulants for a year. She said it's hard to tell if I will be dependent on stimulants once or if I come off of the pain meds. But the miralax and stool softeners are ok. She said they wouldn't be a problem to take some for the rest of my life other than inconvenient. But am afraid of the "laziness" that you are describing from getting used to stool pills. Imo regardless if its a stimulant or not, taking the amounts I am, have to have some recourse down the road...

    JJ Grey--

    WOW thanks sooo much! I actually have noticed that too. If i ate too much what i call "dry" fiber (like fiber bars, nuts ect..) I actually get more constipated..but If i eat more wet fiber like fruits and then of course drink water my bowels are more regular. Thanks for agreeing with me, I thought I was going crazy. I actually forgot to ask my doc this particular question but need to call her office for something so I will leave my question with her medical assistant and she will get back to me.

    I've also noticed that when I eat cantaloupe my bowels are even more regular. Idk if that will help anyone else, but that's my findings.

    thanks all!
  • immyali said:
    that people who rely heavily on stool softeners for long periods of time tend to make their bowel "lazy" so that peristalsis becomes slower.
    I would consult your doctor and see what they say about it.

    I have heard that Miralax is the best thing for you, the worst part of things like Dulcolax, I heard from my doctors, is that you are basically liquifying everything like you said, it gets lazy. They put it like your bowels are a muscle and it forgets how to do it because its liquidy. Why they say don't use things like Duloclax for long time periods and use fiber. ;)
  • Hi Danianne,

    I, like you have what they used to call lazy bowels. One of those things I inherited from my mothers side of the family. I was on about every kind of laxative that you can imagine and many pain meds constipate me severely. I have a degenerative type of arthritis in the mid spine and neck, treatment is a challenge. The things I have learned is to stay away from foods that constipate like cheese, bananas etc. I need a finely tuned balance of soluable and insoluable fiber (it took along time to find this balance), plenty and I mean plenty of water and of course regular exercise. With all of this in order I still take Metamucil twice to three times a day to get a bowel movement once every three days. Some folks do not do well with insoluable fiber and you may be one. Too much insoluable fiber and not enough water could very well lead to an obstruction. Just google the different types of fiber and take a look at what foods contain each so you can see what you like or dislike and then go from there. Mix up foods also so your body doesn't get used to them. A bowel movement everday has never been normal for me and I am told that it is o.k. Don't know if any of this will help but maybe it will.

  • Thanks for your pointers :) You have really gave some good tips. I will deffinately try and follow them. I think I too, might be one of those that do not do well with insoluable fiber, bc/ i deffinately think I see a difference for the worst when I ingest more of it. I know I need to drink more water so I hve been tryign to do that more so recently. I was never regular every day either, and from what my docs hvae always told me that is OK. I hope you find some help in your treatments as well. I send you best wishes because I know its not easy :)

  • Hi Danianne,

    I was never much of a water person either but I try to drink eight a day and more if I can. I never have a meal without a glass of water. I force myself to do it and it now has become habit. Since my metamucil requires water I get two to three a day there. I am on a diet for gastric reflux so I drink herbal tea (no caffeine) which also counts as fluid intake. I love soups and have them regularly and this is where fluid meets fiber. I add lentils, black beans, barley and chick peas to most of my soups. Fluids come in many forms and we must be inventive. I have a fruit smoothie everyday as well and the juice plus water there also counts as fluids. I also plunk 1/3 cup bran buds to the smoothie, it adds fiber and makes it thick. I personally use a Brita filter so my water is clear of chlorine but if you let tap water stand in a jug for acouple hours without a lid the chlorine will evaporate. Chlorine can play havoc with a lot of bodily functions and can cause constipation in some people. I hope you as well find some relief, it is very difficult to struggle with pain let alone having constipation to deal with. Take care.

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