Expert Answers About Opioid-Induced Constipation
Constipation is the most common side effect from opioid medications, and dealing with the issue can be frustrating. Farshad Ahadian, MD, the medical director of UC San Diego Health’s Center for Pain Medicine, answers common questions he hears from his patients about treating opioid-induced constipation (OIC).
1. Q: Why do opioids cause constipation?
A: Opioids work by activating small proteins all over the body, called receptors. When opioids activate the receptors in the spinal cord, this relieves pain. But when opioids activate the receptors in the gut, everything in the GI system is slowed down and impaired.
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