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Do Pain Pills Cause Bowel Disorders

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Old 05-18-2006, 08:16 AM   #1
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Do Pain Pills Cause Bowel Disorders

First of all, my question is: Can pain pills CAUSE you to have IBS or constipation? I am a 37/yo female. I have been taking Hydrocodone (for fibromyalgia) every 4-6 hours since 1999. I have had problems with constipation since then. I guess I never really seen it as a problem until the last 2 years. Since then I've had hemorrhoids (from straining) and now I'm wondering if my not being able to lose weight could also be a result from the pain pills and not being regular.

For example, I normally weigh about 130, I skyrocket up to apx. 146 (also feel bloated/stomach area bloated) and at that point I start taking laxatives, stimulants (usually every day for a week, sometimes two), enemas, whatever it takes. After about a week of not eating AT ALL, I finally feel "emptied" and get back down to my regular weight of 130. I HATE IT, but I've been living like this for the last two years. My doctor doesn't believe me because I weighed almost almost 200 lbs 3 years ago so when I go there weighing almost 150 he thinks I'm just complaining about the weight gain, he doesn't believe it's out of the ordinary.

I finally have a long-waited appointment with a gastroenteroligist tomorrow (I hope that is the right kind of specialist). I thought I would check on this board to see if anybody had any suggestions or questions I should ask while I'm there. Anybody else ever have the problem I'm having? Thanks!!!

Last edited by lisamarie119; 05-18-2006 at 08:19 AM.

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Old 05-18-2006, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Do Pain Pills Cause Bowel Disorders

Yes, hydrocodone can cause constipation, even after you've been taking it with no problems for awhile. Opiates slow the digestive tract. I've been taking hydrocodone (Vicodin) for chronic pain too. On the days when I take less, I have much better BM's. The days when I need more, I end up getting stopped up. I think as long as you need the opiates for your chronic pain, you'll need to counteract the constipation with another medication. Ask your doctor if you can take peri-colace safely, along with your pain meds. After I had surgery in January...I took two peri-colace (generic brand) every night and it seemed to keep things moving while I was on much higher doses of pain meds.

Old 05-21-2006, 09:44 AM   #3
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lisamarie119 HB User
Re: Do Pain Pills Cause Bowel Disorders

Thanks. I went to see a Gastroenterologist and am having some tests run this week. He also prescribed Glycolax (I tried OTC pericolace but it didn't work for me). Thanks for the suggestions.

Old 05-21-2006, 01:38 PM   #4
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countrykid HB User
Re: Do Pain Pills Cause Bowel Disorders

When I was taking pain killers everyday 4-5 hours apart I really had a problem with constipation. I adjusted my liguid intake to at least 12-14 glasses of water a day. Also I eat more food high in fiber. My doctor also said I could take a dose of Metamucil a day to help relieve the constipation.
Being constipated can make you feel very uncomfortable.
Hopefully your gastro dr will help you with more suggestions.

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