By Brett Snodgrass, NP
March 21, 2016
Constipated from your opioid pain medication? You’re not the only one. Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is one of the most common side effects of opioid therapy. Caused by prescription opioid pain medication, it’s a unique kind of constipation. But even though it may not necessarily be the most comfortable topic of conversation, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, given that many people may struggle with this condition. The key is to talk about it. Check out the tips below on how to have the OIC “Constipation Conversation” with your health care provider.
It is important to talk about opioid-induced constipation, or OIC, with your health care provider. You should not be silent if you think you might be experiencing OIC symptoms. There is no need to be embarrassed about bringing the subject of constipation up with your health care provider, even if they don’t mention it first. Remember, your health care provider is concerned for your well-being. Health care providers want to know if medical approaches are working and if you are experiencing any side effects. Go into your appointment with the assurance that your health care provider welcomes learning about your experience.
Your health care provider is there to help, so to assist in diagnosing and managing your condition, it is important to keep track of a few things:
- Have there been changes in your bowel routine? You may have noticed a change to your bowel routine (e.g., frequency of bowel movements, hard stools, etc.) while taking your prescription opioid pain medication. Make note of these changes and mention them in your conversations with your health care provider.
- How are you managing your OIC? Tell your health care provider about everything you are trying. This includes lifestyle changes, like exercise and diet. The more your health care provider knows, the better they can design the optimal treatment plan for you.
Being prepared to discuss these issues means you can have a more productive conversation with your health care provider. Together, you can create a plan for treating OIC which may include MOVANTIK™ (naloxegol) 25 mg tablets, a prescription medication used to treat constipation that is caused by prescription pain medicines (opioids) in adults with long-lasting (chronic) pain that is not caused by cancer.
How do you know if MOVANTIK is right for you?
The best thing you can do to get treatment for OIC is to talk to your health care provider. Many patients experience OIC and your provider is there to help you find a solution. Use the tips provided in this article to guide the conversation with your provider and see if MOVANTIK is right for you.
If your health care provider prescribes you MOVANTIK or you are interested in learning more about how MOVANTIK works, Important Safety Information and more, you can visit the website by clicking here.
Still have questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on MOVANTIK’s website to find answers.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ABOUT MOVANTIK
· MOVANTIK may cause serious side effects, including:
– Tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (perforation). Stomach pain that is severe can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you get stomach pain that does not go away, stop taking MOVANTIK and get emergency medical help right away
– Opioid withdrawal. You may have symptoms of opioid withdrawal during treatment with MOVANTIK, including sweating, chills, diarrhea, stomach pain, anxiety, irritability, and yawning. Patients taking methadone to treat their pain may be more likely to experience stomach pain and diarrhea. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms
· Do not take MOVANTIK if you:
– Have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction) or have a history of bowel blockage
– Are allergic to MOVANTIK or any of the ingredients in MOVANTIK
· MOVANTIK can interact with other medicines and cause side effects, including opioid withdrawal symptoms (see symptoms above). Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start or stop any medicines during treatment with MOVANTIK
· Before taking MOVANTIK, tell your doctor right away if you are:
– Pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Taking MOVANTIK during pregnancy may cause opioid withdrawal symptoms in your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with MOVANTIK
– Breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if MOVANTIK passes into your breast milk. Taking MOVANTIK while you are breastfeeding may cause opioid withdrawal in your baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will take MOVANTIK or breastfeed. You should not breastfeed while taking MOVANTIK
· Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Other medicines may affect the way MOVANTIK works
· If you stop taking your opioid pain medicine, stop taking MOVANTIK and tell your doctor
· Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice during treatment with MOVANTIK
· The most common side effects of MOVANTIK include: Stomach (abdomen) pain, diarrhea, nausea, gas, vomiting, headache, and excessive sweating
APPROVED USES FOR MOVANTIK
MOVANTIK is a prescription medicine used to treat constipation that is caused by prescription pain medicines called opioids, in adults with long-lasting (chronic) pain that is not caused by cancer.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
AstraZeneca supports the responsible use of medications, including those containing opioids, as treatment options for patients with chronic non-cancer pain.
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