Constipation and a Preventative Bowel Program

Constipation may be a problem during your treatment. Causes include a diet that does not have enough fiber or fluid, prolonged bed rest and medications – especially prescription pain medicine.

If you are taking prescription drugs for pain, use the following schedule to prevent constipation from occurring:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to loosen your bowels. Warm or hot fluids work well
  • Use a stool softener:
    • Docusate (Colace) 100 mg/capsule – take 1 twice daily
  • Use a stimulant laxative:
    • Senna (Senokot) 187 mg/tablet – take 1 or 2 twice daily. Maximum 8 tablets per day
    • Biscodyl (Dulcolax) 5mg/tablet or 10mg/suppository – take 1 or 2 twice daily
  • Use an osmotic laxative:
    • Sorbitol 70% solution (prescription) – take 15-30ml daily OR
    • Lactulose (Chronulac – prescription) – take 10-20 gm (15-30ml) daily OR
    • Magnesium Citrate (Citroma) 300ml bottle – take ½ to 1 bottle daily

Start with fluids, a softener and a stimulant. Increase stimulant as your pain medication dosage increases. Add an osmotic if necessary.

The medicines recommended are all available in the antacid/laxative section of your drug or grocery store – except for the Sorbitol and Lactulose/Chronulac, for which we will give you a prescription.