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Laxatives, if you do not go, can make painkillers ineffective

I was in a palliative care ward today visiting and the chief specialist came in. She said that if you take laxatives and do not go to the toilet that the laxatives can put a lining on your stomach that makes the painkillers ineffective.

I have had intractable pain for 9 years now and no-one has ever explained that to me. I asked the specialist how she learnt this and she said a medical professor explained it to her.

This information fills in a lot of gaps. So maybe that's why some days no matter how many painkillers you have, if the laxatives haven't done their job, and have put a coating on your stomach, the painkillers just don't work.

Does anyone else know about this, or was I the only one in the dark for all these years?


  • I didn't know that, but it makes sense. I was bulimic for ten years with heavy laxative abuse, and I never seemed to be able to get rid of headaches easily when I tried to take something for them. Now that you mention that, it might explain why. (Of course, I wouldn't bring it up with a doctor because I'd have to admit what I was doing.
    (see profile for medical details)

    I *heart* my TENS unit.
  • take movicol once of twice a day and you will be back to normal within a day or two ,movicol doesn't put a lining on you stomach .it helps move the constipation along the bowel ..an easy way to take this revolting stuff is as so ..get a cup {the type you would make a cup of tea/coffee in then put the movicol powder in then add a little boiling water from the kettle in about a 6th of the cup then stir until the movicol has dissolved then add some orange cordial about a 6th then stir again then add cold water until the drink is warm ..too cold and you will taste the movicol too hot and you won't be able to drink it ..its a bit of trial and error ..but don't right and you can't taste it ..its well worth it and if you do this every day you should not have any problems ..many people don't take movicol because they don't like it ..taken my way and you will be able to take it I have been on it for ten years .
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 02/03/2014 - 7:02 PM
    How stupid of me to think an experienced palliative care specialist would know about pain relief. Argue with a medical professor and a very experienced palliative care medical specialist who is so sought after they brought her out of retirement and flew her up from Sydney to manage the palliative care unit. She is the most amazing Dr I have ever met. Of course she wouldn't know her stuff after specialising in palliative care for a great many years. People who are dying don't take opioids.

    How could I possibly think she knew what she was talking about? I'm so silly I need to speak to someone who takes a double dose of laxatives every day and has diagnosed bowel problems.
  • mcjimjammmcjimjam Posts: 307
    edited 02/04/2014 - 12:20 AM
    Perhaps it's only certain kinds of laxatives that cause this problem, maybe stimulant laxatives. There are a number of different types of laxatives such as stool softeners, osmotic laxative, bulk-producing agents etc. which all work differently.
  • It is mosy likely only certain laxatives that put a coating on your stomach. Maybe I should have been more prescriptive. Will do some more research, I never expected that it could be a problem. The specialist was speaking about Targin but she implied that a lot of laxatives do this when I asked for clarification as I was interested as i take opioids and therefore laxatives,
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  • paininohioppaininohio Posts: 240
    edited 02/04/2014 - 9:44 AM
    There was no need to be so sarcastic to Tony, everyone knows you can't stand Jon, but what did Tony ever do to you?
  • paininohioppaininohio Posts: 240
    edited 02/04/2014 - 9:43 AM
  • anelson, I think you're very intelligent and I enjoy reading your posts, they are always very well thought out and just from being online and not knowing you in person, you remind me of a very caring and passionate person.
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    jon the true blue american
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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