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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Constipation
These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as
recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is
always advised to consult their own physician.
Constipation & Dicyclomine
Medication [posted 12/01/98]
Question: I was just prescribed this medicine. However, I have suffered from
constipation lately, and I am wondering if the medication is going to make it worse. What
exactly is meant by "anticholinergic activity" and "spasms" as used on
my Walgreens description.
Answer: Anticholingergic refers to the cholingeric nervous system(one
of the active chemicals at the nerve ends). This is a substantial part of your nervous
system and controls a lot of "automatic " functions, bowel motility for example.
Constipation would be a usual side effect of this medication.
Question: I have recently been prescribed Propulsid 10 mg BID (prior to breakfast
and dinner). I have been taking Prozac 20 mg once a day for several years. Since starting
the Propulsid, I seem to have increased flatuence, bloating, and constipation. Is this
possibly due to this combination of meds? This combination of meds and insufficient
Answer: Just the propulsid.
Question: I am currently taking several different medications and vitamins.
Something is causing me to be very constipated. Could you help me find out which one or
ones it is? Here is what I take: estrace, provera, armours thyroid, wellbutrin, ultram,
folic acid, calcium, vitamins E and C, and potassium.
Answer: Iron is the usual culprit with patients on vitamin replacements. But,
wellbutrin can produce constipation as can provera and ultram.
Question: I have a son in his early 20's whose diet is high in fried, fast food and
low in fiber. In recent months he has been complaining of constipation and discomfort in
his lower left side. Is there a term for this medical complaint and what would you
recommend to correct the problem?
Answer: Try some fiber, he sounds constipated. He could be having colonic
dilation or diverticuli, but he's young for these.
Question: My mother is 65 years old and on several medications including Lanoxin,
Zocor, and Norvasc. Her gastroenterologist placed her on Propulsid recently because of
severe constipation she has suffered from since childhood. Her history of laxative abuse
has caused her to have an inactive, "lazy colon". She has to take laxatives in
excess of six over-the-counter types one night a week to have a bowel movement. She was
instructed to try three doses of propuslid a day (20 mg) and to take the syrupy liquid (I
think called Kronulac?) to go along with it. The first dose of Propulsid worked giving her
diarrhea. Since that dose she is still constipated ten days later. She now complains of
new chest pains and a dizzy feeling. Could it be the Propulsid? She also has a stuffy nose
she indicates is new to go along with a feeling of bloating and indigestive type fullness.
Could these be side effects of Propulsid or a combination of it along with the other
medications? She had angioplasty two years ago and has had good cardiological check ups
since. My second question is if this does not help the constipation is there any other
medication or treatment that might? She is miserable only have one bowel movement a week
(plus it being laxative induced)?
Answer: Has she tried laculose? This is used to induce diarrhea in patients with
liver failure so they don't get confused; however, is very effective in inducing stools in
patients with chronic constipation.
Question: How do you treat a patient with constipation that has als. The patient
cannot move on their own and has to be placed on the toilet. I have tried colase,soluable
fiber,prune juice,apple sauce ,the patient can eat regular food, and has no swallowing
Answer: I'd try daily laculose syrup. Usually, this will need a
prescription;but, it works well -you will need to experiment to find the daily dose that
will give about one bowel movement a day.
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