Chronic Constipation Drugs

chronic constipation drugs

Chronic constipation is when you experience symptoms of constipation often and for a long time. Constipation may be a result of an underlying disease, such as irritable bowel syndrome. However, it may also be caused by the use of s. Exercise and changes in diet may be enough to alleviate your constipation. However, as it is often the case with chronic constipation, this is not always enough. In these cases, you may need over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Over-the-counter medications will be in the form of laxatives. These include:

  • bulk-forming laxatives
  • lubricants
  • osmotic laxatives
  • stimulant laxatives
  • stool softeners
  • combination medications

Bulk-forming laxatives or fiber supplements pull fluid into the intestines to make the stool bulkier and softer. They may take several days to work but are safe for longer-term use. They need to be taken with a large amount of water or another liquid.

Lubricants coat the stool so that it can pass through the intestines more easily. They should start working within 6-8 hours but should not be used long-term as your body could become dependent on them to pass stool.

Osmotic laxatives work by keeping water inside the intestines, helping to soften stool and produce more frequent bowel movements. They act quickly, often in 30 minutes or less. They are generally safe for long-term use but should be taken with lots of water.

Stimulant laxatives will trigger the intestinal muscles to contract, helping to move the stool along. They tend to work within 6-10 hours but should not be used long-term as the body can become tolerant to them, rendering them ineffective.

Stool softeners add water and fats into the stool, which helps to create a softer bowel movement. They take about 1-3 days to start working and are safe for long-term use.

Sometimes, you may need to combine several of the over-the-counter medications listed above. Usually, it will be a stool softener and a stimulant laxative.

If over-the-counter medications aren’t working for you, you may need to speak to your doctor regarding prescription medications. This will most often be the case for chronic constipation, as well as for those with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Prescription medications won’t lead to immediate relief like laxatives do. Instead, the goal is to increase your number of weekly bowel movements.

Prescription constipation medications include:

  • linaclotide
  • plecanatide
  • lubiprostone
  • methyl
  • naloxegol

Both linaclotide and plecanatide help to regulate the amount of fluid in the intestines. They also help to increase the speed of stool movement through the intestines.

Lubiprostone helps to increase the amount of fluid secretion in the intestines, which helps to pass stool.

Methyl and naloxegol treat -induced constipation by blocking s from binding to receptors in the intestines.

Featured image: belchonock via DepositPhotos

Posted on May 5, 2023