Do prescription painkillers make you constipated?

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GDen
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Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/6/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I asked my GE the other day for a prescription for dilaudid or some other painkiller and he refused, saying that narcotic painkillers (which seem to be most/all prescribed) slow down the GI tract and thereby cause constipation or worse. I was taking an anti-diarrheal for a while but stopped after I got kind of constipated, and stopping seemed to help a bit. Anyway, it seems many here take prescription painkillers and I'm curious if you suffer any GI-tract side effects and, if so, how you deal with them.

Post Edited (GDen) : 8/6/2009 2:02:50 PM (GMT-6)


eljay1066
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 3166
   Posted 8/6/2009 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
It is extremely rare for me, despite old age, to be constipated. I find that darvocet, or dilaudid if things are really bad, slow me down enough for me to travel an hour without having to stop. Meanwhile, I take Lonox (generic for Lomotil) twice a day and so far it hasn't done much. I am still running and raw at the outlet from going so much. I had to come off Imuran due to blood tests, but it didn't seem to be working, either. I just try to manage when I have to go out by not eating in the morning and taking the "as needed" pain pills before leaving. I also wear protective pads. Sorry to be so blunt, but I have to do what works for me. I really prefer to just stay home.
Take care. Lois

HabsHockeyFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3130
   Posted 8/6/2009 1:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I most definitely got C from painkillers! not all of us do, but I go from D anytime I eat anything to not going for days. Vicodin was horrid on me (and never touched my pains so what a waste :-) )
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....


Not2Spunky
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 8/6/2009 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
My Dr gave me Tramdol, said it was not supposse to be as constipating but it is as well, So yes any pain med I have had will cause C.
 RIP my beloved Chihuahua: Roxy
DX with CD of the TI in 2004 by colonoscpy biopsy, with partical obstructions x 3. Anemic, constant elevated ESR & WBC. Constant abd. pain and fatique.    
Meds: Vit B-12 shots monthly, zinc, multi vit, Vit E, Pentasa.    


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/6/2009 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I take Percoset everyday and I do suffer with constipation. But I take stool softners everynight and they keep things soft and easy to pass.

Hugs
Gail*Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4096
   Posted 8/6/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I tend to get constipated from nothing, but yes, pain meds do slow things down and make it worse
50 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/6/2009 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I asked my GE if I could take a laxative with the painkiller and he didn't recommend it. I also asked him about stool softeners and he didn't recommend them either. I'll have to see what a GP says. I don't recall having any constipation problems with dilaudid during my first flare.

MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 8/6/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I just wanna put it out there that a docotor actually giving a patient prescription Dilaudid is EXTREMELY rare. Most would laugh in your face if you asked for that....I however, have had it presrcibed to me once.  Your better off asking for vicodin, or percs. The chances of you getting Diladudid are like less then %1, unless your in a hospital hooked up to an IV.  To answer your question, yes pain killers do slow down your GI tract, a lot.  Not so much trough IV, but in pill form, you will most likely get backed up.  GI's are notorious for not prescribing pain meds, your better off asking your PCP, or going to a pain management specialist.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Imuran 50mg, Vitamin B12 (injection), D, and C tablets. Fish Oil Tablets, Cats Claw, Slippery Elm, and Reishi.
 

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/6/2009 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
MAG102886 said...
I just wanna put it out there that a docotor actually giving a patient prescription Dilaudid is EXTREMELY rare. Most would laugh in your face if you asked for that.

Why?
MAG102886 said...
Your better off asking for vicodin, or percs.

Why?
MAG102886 said...
The chances of you getting Diladudid are like less then %1

Where did you get that statistic?

MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 8/6/2009 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Its just not something a doctor hands over to any person who says they are in pain.  Its extremely addictive, although Ive been told by ER staff that it is 10x stronger the Morphine, but less addictive.....I agree that the strength is 10x more, but I do not think its any less addictive   I know when I'm in the hospital and they decide to take me off the IV dilaudid and onto oral pain killers, I get horrible anxiety, and horrible withdrawl symptoms even if Im on it only for a few days.  Not only that but your body will build up a tolerance for it quick, requiring you to take more and more...increasing your chances of becoming addicted.
 
 
And again because GIs are notorious for not prescribing pain meds, Im not saying you have no chance of getting it, but when you ask for something like Dilaudid by name, they start to wonder if there are alternative motives.  I've been told that serveral times by ER doctors.   Im not saying you are going to do anything bad with the drugs, Im sure everyone here knows a pain killer that works for them and they have asked for it by name....Dilaudid is just very heavy duty.
 
 
Why is it that you want Dilaudid, do no other pain meds work for you? I mean if thats truly the case...then you need to see a pain managament specialist and Im sure they would be able to help you tons, possibly figure out some kinda mix to limit constipation maybe.


Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Imuran 50mg, Vitamin B12 (injection), D, and C tablets. Fish Oil Tablets, Cats Claw, Slippery Elm, and Reishi.
 
www.myspace.com/mastermelissa

Post Edited (MAG102886) : 8/6/2009 8:24:22 PM (GMT-6)


cbear
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 8/6/2009 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
i do not have chrons disease, but i do get constipated from narcotic pain meds. i take a prescription med. called amitiza. it has changed my life!

frogeleita
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 8/6/2009 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
yes..thats why i avoid them like the plaque! i try so hard to not take those things if i don't really need them..because the constipation messes with my fistula and has caused it to heal on the outside before...you can try colace..thats pretty safe but let it kick in before you take the next dose..sometimes when the GI tract is slow..so are all the other medicines you take..making them sometimes kick in at the same time..resulting in bad stomach pain and diarrhea...ugghh..and for me its always in the middle of the night..disturbed sleep..and drink alot of water..thats always good to move things along! good luck

MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 8/6/2009 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I also just wanted to say, Ive been thinking about what I posted, and how I worded things. I hope you dont take any offense to anything I said, I was just trying to be honest.  All Im trying to say is Diluadid one of the top notch pain killers, probably in the top 5-10 strongest, and for someone to be prescribed it...Im sure they have some horrible debilitating condition....and as horrible and painful as Crohns can and does get...its really not "bad enough" to most doctors to warrant a prescription for something as strong as that.  Im sure in your mind, and most of ours the pain that we go through is more then enough...and we shouldnt have to live in pain...at the same time people need to realize that pain meds are extremely addictive and shouldnt be given out to anyone and everyone who says "ouch", this is why people like us who actually suffer everyday have such a hard time being able to get pain meds--too many people abused them and ruined it for the ones who actually need it.  That said, if you cannot get pain meds through your GI, or PC then try a pain management specialist, there you will hopefully receive proper care, and get your pain issue under control in a safe and monitored way.
Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Imuran 50mg, Vitamin B12 (injection), D, and C tablets. Fish Oil Tablets, Cats Claw, Slippery Elm, and Reishi.
 

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/7/2009 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Gden,

I have to respectfully agree with the above. Dilaudid is for EXTREME pain, but Crohns pain and the Crohns arthritis pain I think can be better handled with something like Vicodin or Percoset. I took Vicodin for years for my pain, and just about 2 years ago I had to increase it to Percoset.

I have had this disease for over 33 years and have only seen a very few who have had to go on strong meds such as Dilaudid or Fentanyl for day to day pain. If they did go on one of these stronger meds such as Dilaudid, they had additional severe health issues going on at the same time. Our pain is bad, but I think in most cases the type of pain requiring Dilaudid would probably be obstruction pain and you shouldn't deal with that kind of pain at home. And in the hospital thats where you might get the IV Dilaudid.

And GI's are notorious for not prescribing pain meds. I always get mine from my family doctor. If you are having problems getting needed pain meds from your family doc, I would suggest a referral to a pain mgmt clinic.

Good luck,
Gail*Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

eljay1066
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 3166
   Posted 8/7/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners, I agree with you. I just wanted to clarify that I have never asked for dilaudid in any form, but they gave it to me in the ER. This is the first time I've had it in oral form, and that was because I was being discharged from the hospital and would have to set up an appointment for the kidney stone surgery, which was nine days later. They handed me prescriptions for that and phenergren as I was leaving. I am afraid of oral pain killers and the only one that doesn't give me terrible side effects is darvocet, and that does the trick for ordinary Crohn's pain. I know I'm not abusing it because a month's supply lasts me about six or seven months.

There is alcohol addiction in my family, and I drink once a year, a glass of champagne on New Year's Eve. But I never liked alcohol much, anyway. My addiction focuses on food. Isn't that a nice one to go with the CD?
Take care. Lois

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/7/2009 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Lois thats what I am saying when I say those who take meds like Dilaudid usually have underlying conditions. Such as yourself who is suffering with a kidneystone and can't get in quickly. Or for those for example who have PG or something severe like that. But I think the lesser meds will work fine for the normal Crohns pain or crohns arthritis for example. And don't feel bad, I have the addiction to food too, oh and of course my heating pad:)
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/7/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
First of all let me assure everyone that there's not anything "more" to this than what was in my original post.

I admit I don't know much about painkillers. I've only been on prescription painkillers twice in my life. Once many years ago when I had my wisdom teeth out--I got some prescription drug for 1.5 weeks or so and wow did it knock me out. I definitely remember addictive withdrawals from that.

Then secondly for my first Crohn's flare they put me on IV dilaudid in the hospital for almost a week. When I was released I got dilaudid tabs for another week. It was prescribed by two different doctors. I never felt drugged-out on dilaudid. I just remember how completely it masked my terrible abdominal, joint, etc. pain. After the pills ran out, I didn't notice any withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. Because of this experience, I just assumed dilaudid was a pretty standard prescription painkiller, and a more modern, refined, less problematic drug than whatever I'd had for my wisdom teeth.

Since starting this thread I've read up a bit more on painkillers, specifically dilaudid, vicodin, and percocet. Seems vicodin is hydrocodone + acetominophen, and hydrocodone is metabolized into hydromorphone (dilaudid), the active agent. So, same thing basically. Percocet also sounds pretty similar. However it does appear dilaudid is more potent, anywhere from 2 to 10 times. I can't imagine dilaudid being used recreationally since I didn't feel anything from it, but according to its Wikipedia page it is. I also see that dilaudid is a schedule II drug while vicodin and percoset are schedule III. So I'm now a bit more educated about painkillers.

So, I think you all are right--dilaudid is overkill for me right now. I'm maxed-out on acetaminophen and I'd say it takes care of 80% of the pain, 80% of the time. Even though I'm not supposed to, I occasionally take a naproxen. I'm kind of worried about possible long-term liver damage from taking probably on average 75% of the max dose of acetaminophen for many months now. It feels like I'm not on any painkillers at all when my bowels start filling up--the discomfort/pain gets pretty miserable. But it doesn't last too long and after the BM I'm fairly okay. I'll have to see what a GP or even a pain specialist says. I also start a new treatment in the next few weeks and hopefully that will beat this miserable months-long flare into remission.
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