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Codeine = constipation! What can I do?

(40 Posts)

GP prescribed codeine, 15mg, I started it on Thursday and haven't been to the loo properly since Friday. I know he said it could cause constipation but he didn't say what to do if it did! I've never been constipated before so didn't quite know what to expect.

I feel like I need to go but when I sit on the loo nothing happens. Have just spent an hour on the loo thinking I was going to 'go' but - nada. I feel very bloated and uncomfortable and like there's something huge there just waiting to come out. blush

I eat loads of fruit and veg so no lack of fibre, I have been drinking lots of water but it hasn't helped, not sure if I should get some ex-lax or something tomorrow as I will be going out and don't want to get taken short at a bad moment! I've never used a laxative before so not sure how it all works.

I'm off to bed now but would really appreciate any advice for the morning.

McPhee Mon 07-May-12 00:03:33

Co-codamol has done the same to me. My gp prescribed lactulose, although you might be able to buy it over the counter? Or try a cup of warm water. Apparently that's meant to work as well.

troptriste Mon 07-May-12 00:05:56

oh dear poor you the gp should have given you some lactulose to go with the codeine.
you can take lactulose 10ml twice a day to prevent further constipation and senna 1 tab twice a day to help now.
I think you can buy these both over the counter.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Mon 07-May-12 08:52:13

I feel your pain! I've been on codiene for about 7 weeks. From stuff you can buy, I find probiotics yogurts help and juice that's not from concentrate e.g from the fridge section of the supermarket. Prunes work really well if you can stomach them! I actually think movicol is better than lactulose. Essentially lactulose softens the stool, but movicol softens and stimulates the bowel. I'd try the food stuff today bug get a GP appointment if they don't help. They maybe didn't prescribed laxatives immediately because not everyone suffers but you can't carry on like this! Do try the juice though it works wonders for me!

CMOTDibbler Mon 07-May-12 08:54:58

You can get lactulose from the pharmacy, so get some this morning and start taking it. You won't get caught short with it, but it will help. Then keep taking it as long as you are on codiene

All of these things work differently for different people. Lactulose does nothing for me apart from make my stomach churn. I have constipation long term due to meds so I take Laxido which is the same as Movicol IIRC mixed with orange juice with bits in every night. Makes everything regular and have BM every morning. Your GP would need to prescribe it.

xposts with Havealittlefaithbaby seen that she has recommended the same smile

ajandjjmum Mon 07-May-12 09:04:39

Ortisan from Holland and Barrett - miracle worker according to DM.

2old2beamum Mon 07-May-12 09:35:04

Movicol works brilliantly but quite expensive, its the only one that doesn't give me bellyache. Use it for DS (cerebral palsy) also.

Thanks everyone, I will pop to Boots today and get some movicol or lactulose as they at least don't sound like they'll have me running for the loo at short notice!

My stomach feels like a flipping balloon this morning and I've put on 5lbs since Thursday (I go to slimming world, I don't obsessively weigh myself, really! wink)

kalidasa Mon 07-May-12 10:26:36

I always take senna (e.g. senokot) if I am taking cocodamol because even that small amount of codeine does this to me too.

I have been having hideous constipation issues recently because I am bed-bound, can't eat solid food and on loads of drugs. Movicol in industrial quantities finally did the trick but start with just a little as it might be all you need.

Kalidasa - try the orange juice thing with your Movicol. Means I only need 1 sachet a day to keep it all working.

Oops - are you going to be on the codeine long term? If you are then ask your GP to prescribe Movicol/Laxido which you can take to keep constipation at bay. The lactulose is cheap but vile it is an acquired taste as seems to be basically sugar!!

Be careful ladies with constipation. Mine caused me to have a bowel prolapse and I needed surgery. I didn't deal with it as a long term thing. I kept letting it build up - sorry TMI.

Hi Ben no it should be a short-term thing, hopefully just for a couple of weeks. Probably why the doctor didn't think of giving me a laxative too.

kalidasa Mon 07-May-12 11:13:13

Thanks Ben and sorry to hear your constipation caused such a serious problem. Unfortunately orange juice is out as the mere smell of it makes me vomit. Have hyperemesis in a big way, hence the endless hospital admissions/bed rest/no solid food scenario. I am on meal replacement drinks and very limited fluids. Sorry, should have said, didn't want to derail thread. It's all the antiemetics I'm on that are causing such terrible constipation I think. Had to have an enema in hospital and trying to avoid that again! Tried everything I could get my hands on at max dose before the "impaction" dose of movicol finally worked.

ebbandflow Mon 07-May-12 11:18:03

I find milk chocolate has a bit of a laxative effect on .

ebbandflow Mon 07-May-12 11:19:48

me (that should be). Not sure should recommend chocolate on a health board though.

SpagboLagain Mon 07-May-12 11:21:21

More support for fresh orange juice with bits in (not from concentrate).
Had been suffering with constipation since having DS2 despite having bran every morning and drinking loads of fluids, lots of veg too.

Utterly amazing the effect the OJ had, am now fine again!

ebb scientists have proved dark chocolate has cough-suppressant properties, no reason why we can't try it for other home remedies 'in the name of science' grin

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 11:24:29

You could also try Thornton's Sugar-free toffee (used to be marketed as Diabetic toffee).

Just don't eat the whole bag and then stray away from the bathroom

[voice of bitter experience]

<goes to buy Thornton's toffee>

Kalidasa - Hope the HE eases soon.

kalidasa Mon 07-May-12 13:37:28

Thanks. Am only 9 weeks so probably still a bit of a way to go. My mother swears by 'diabetic chocolate' as well though I'm not sure where you can buy it. Health food shop maybe?

HaveALittleFaithBaby Mon 07-May-12 14:04:32

Most Boots and pharmacies sell diabetic chocolate. The reason it helps is because it's full of sweetener which in larger quantities has a laxative effect.

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 15:58:59

Boots stuff doesn't taste very nice though - Thorntons stuff is much more palatable - at least when you're eating it ...

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 07-May-12 16:35:59

Also on codeine just now. I find strong coffee works a treat. As does fruit that is as raw and/or as sour as possible. Underripe plums, particularly.

ouryve Mon 07-May-12 16:47:09

In addition to other suggestions, putting your feet up on one of those kids' step stools when you sit on the loo can help things find their way out a lot more easily, since it straightens up your bowel and allows gravity to do more of the work.

nikkinutjob Tue 11-Jun-13 20:10:32

im in the same boat now its not nice

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