10 Signs You May Have Opioid-Induced Constipation

An Uncomfortable Downside of Opioid Therapy

Opioid therapy can be a blessing…and a curse. It can knock out some pretty spectacular pain, but it can also incur some pretty uncomfortable side effects. If not at the top of the list, constipation is probably pretty near the top. So, if you’re taking an opioid painkiller, you need to be prepared to recognize and cope with this side effect.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Benjamin R, et al. Opioid Complications and Side Effects. Pain Physician 2008: Opioid Special Issue: 11:S105-S120. http://www.painphysicianjournal.com/current/pdf?article=OTg1&journal=42
  2. Definition and Facts for Constipation. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/constipation/Pages/def...
  3. Management of Opioid Induced Constipation. UW Health. http://prc.coh.org/pdf/OpioidIndConst9-11.pdf
  4. Managing Side Effects and Complications of Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/Pain/cot/OpiodManagingSideEffectsFactSheet23May2013v1HiResPrint.pdf
  5. Pain relief, opioids, and constipation. Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School. http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/pain-relief-opioids-and-constipation
  6. Swegle JM, et al. Management of Common Opioid-Induced Adverse Effects. American Family Physician. 2006 Oct 15;74(8):1347-1354. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/1015/p1347.html
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