Health News

The Big 8 Constipation-Causing Medications

First, if your stools are too hard or too small, or pooping is too difficult or infrequent, you are constipated. Officially, constipation is defined as a stool frequency of less than three times per week. It can be miserable and medications prescribed by us, your physicians, are frequently to blame.

Here are the constipation-causing champions:

1) NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), are the constipation winners. These medications are often used on a daily basis and when they are, they can really stop you up.

2) Antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec

Certain antihistamine drugs like Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin that are available over the counter to treat allergy symptoms may stop you up.

3) Tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil and Pamelor

The antihistamines listed above belong to an even larger class of medications known as anticholinergics, which all have the possible side effect of causing constipation. Think of any medication that gives you a dry mouth as belonging to the class of medications known as anticholinergics. In addition to those allergy medications above, we’re also talking about tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor).

4) Medications for urinary incontinence

Ditropan XL and Detrol, used to treat urinary incontinence (difficulty urinating), are common offenders of causing constipation. These medications are also classified as anticholinergics.

5) Iron supplements

Of all the dietary supplements, iron is the gold medal winner for causing constipation. Whether you are taking straight iron (like ferrous sulfate, for example) or a multivitamin that contains iron, it may very well cause problems.

6) Opioid pain relievers

You may remember that when you took Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol with codeine, or Dilaudid after surgery or for major pain, you almost certainly had constipation. Strike early and take a stool softener if you need to take these medications. Period.

7) Blood pressure medications

This will depend on which one you are taking, but calcium channel blockers like diltiazem and verapamil and beta-blockers (drugs ending in “–ol” like atenolol) may very well constipate you.

8) Nausea medications like Zofran

We’re talking about nausea medications known as selective serotonin 5-HT3 antagonists here. This class of medications mainly includes those used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery or chemotherapy, like ondansetron (Zofran). While these work very well for nausea they commonly result in constipation. So again, strike early and often with a stool softener if taking these meds.

Hope this helps.

Dr O.

Source: Read Full Article