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21 replies

GeidiPrimes · 19/03/2021 17:22

I did post about this on chat, but didn't get any replies. I haven't NCd, so will carry the full brunt of the shame.

I'm on a combo of venlafaxine and mirtazipine for resistant depression and anxiety. They're starting to work really well and everything seems brighter and lighter. But man alive, the constipation - it's worse than anything I've ever experienced. And that's coming from somebody who spent many years addicted to opiates! My brain keeps imagining the same process that turns coal into diamonds is happening in my bowels of hell.

Has anyone had any success in managing it? I've read a few accounts online of others complaining of this side-effect. So far I've tried: drinking more water, taking a fibre supplement, trying to eat more vegetables and swigging lactulose. Made no difference, apart from wind (so much wind!) and bloating. I take a reasonable amount of exercise (pilates and walking with my dog daily). Feeling kind of sluggish.

Coming off the medication is something I don't want to do because apart from the constipation my life's improved a lot. I have a phone appointment with GP on Tues so will ask for something industrial strength. But that's in 4 days time, and I'm beginning to feel a bit like Mr. Creosote. Does it get not as bad at some point can anyone please tell me?

OP posts:

ILoveExcel · 19/03/2021 17:24

I recently had v bad constipation due to antiemitic medication, movicol twice a day!


Northernsoullover · 19/03/2021 17:27

You need to clear the backlog (fnar fnar Grin) and eat lots of oranges. Its the only thing that works for me. Along with 5 fruit and veg a day, 3 tangerines on top is a miracle worker. My dentist advised me to eat cheese after as the acid is no good for your teeth.


SoWhyNot · 19/03/2021 17:29

I’d get the best otc laxatives you can and accept you’ll need them for the foreseeable future.


Sundances · 19/03/2021 17:29

glycerine suppositories - available from the chemist.
Moisten them first


dementedpixie · 19/03/2021 17:29

Curry, chilli and fajitas make my bowels move


DinosaurDiana · 19/03/2021 17:30

Prunes, prunes and more prunes. That’ll shift it and keep it moving.


cultkid · 19/03/2021 17:31

I've had horrible constipation issues due to opiates and other drugs through the years

I was a firm fan of glycerin suppositories however I recently just bought an enema and I found using that to be more natural and always available just of warm water

It really did help

I've had some traumatic moments on the toilet
You have my sympathy xx


LAgeDeRaisin · 19/03/2021 17:53

Ask your GP for laxido (1-3 per day as required). It's what we prescribe for constipation in hospital and it works.

You might need a big dose to start and then a maintenance on 1 per day.

Glad to hear you are already doing all the right things re hydration and fibre in your diet. Also you should google the correct toilet posture for constipation and get a small stool for your feet while on the loo. That can help.

Good luck OP!


LAgeDeRaisin · 19/03/2021 17:56

In the mean time before your appointment, try getting all bran- those little brown sticks- it has piles of fibre (pun intended). Multiple times more than all the other cereals that claim to be high fibre. I have it daily through pregnancy for breakfast and you can make it more exciting with sliced banana and raisins (or maybe chopped prunes in your case!)


SynchroSwimmer · 19/03/2021 18:05

Can recommend a pint of water on waking, plus pears and/or beetroot somewhere in the diet which works for me.


GeidiPrimes · 19/03/2021 18:30

Thank you for the replies and tips!

A few years ago somebody posted about how good poo-stools were, and they got called a troll! But I have wondered about them the last few days. I may experiment with some shoe boxes Grin


OP posts:

BeesAnkles · 19/03/2021 18:40

Magnesium Citrate (not just bog standard magnesium). I had to stop taking it because of the diarrhea side effect, however, it might take you to a normal middle ground!

I've just looked online and, indeed, in can be used to treat constipation.


TheMostHappy · 19/03/2021 18:53

I've had this due to antiemetic meds too when I was pregnant. When I finally got moving again I swear I literally tore myself a new one and I've not been the same since. I had movicol I think.


WiltedDaffs · 19/03/2021 19:01

Laxido or movicol (they’re very similar stuff) can be bought over the counter without a prescription if you don’t fancy waiting until Tuesday.


NeverHadANickname · 19/03/2021 19:05

Movicol or prunes. Prunes made me VERY gassy but I was very regular with a glass of prune juice a day. You might need a suppository to soften the backlog though.


Mseddy · 19/03/2021 19:08

I had this problem earlier in the week although pregnancy and ivf meds induced! I swigged lactulose like it was going out of fashion, drank lots of fresh orange juice and went for a walk straight after. It worked and I managed to shift the problem stool. Only issue was my results then became too effective and I very nearly shit myself!! But since shifting it I've been making sure I keep up with the orange daily and as soon as one day comes where I don't have a movement I take lactulose so the problem doesn't build up again! Good luck. I literally feel your pain!


lachy · 19/03/2021 19:09

My mum swears my eating Melon first thing in the morning.

Raising your feet works for me. I use one a child's step in our bathroom.


nocoolnamesleft · 19/03/2021 19:11

You can actually buy laxido/movicol at pharmacies. Great stuff.


Poppins2016 · 19/03/2021 19:14

Prunes are excellent. I find them much more effective than lactulose!


RubyFakeLips · 19/03/2021 19:23

Prune juice is easy as a regular thing, also find M&S apple and pear quite good.

I don't have the official one I use an upturned laundry basket (anything a foot high will do) to raise my feet, it does help.

To be really tmi, after surgery I had to use fingers entered vaginally to help pressure the demon out of my arse.

I have taken things like dulcolax in the past. It was very effective and could help get you back on an even keel, although almost too effective, is like an exorcism. Brace yourself.


Wibblewobble99 · 19/03/2021 19:42

How long did you try the lactulose for? As far as I’m aware it’s a stool softener so it won’t make you go, just easier to go and it works by absorbing moisture from your diet so it’s recommended you increase your fluid intake to really make it work but it can take weeks. I suspect you’d need something more powerful just to clear the backlog and something like lactulose to keep you soft and regular. I’d speak to your pharmacy first as they’re great with stuff like this.
Once you’ve cleared the backlog there are things you can do like you’ve suggested or are doing with your diet to keep on top of things. Cloudy apple juice is meant to be good for constipation. Personally I’ve found I have to be careful with fibre as too much and it blocks me up. My gp recommended setting aside 20 mins a day roughly the same time every say, just to sit on the loo and sort of train my body into being more regular rather than waiting until I was desperate or missing the signs as I was busy chasing a toddler around. Good luck I know how uncomfortable it can be so hope you get sorted.

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