Opioid-induced constipation is a different form of constipation that may not respond to OTC laxatives4,6-8
OIC is caused by opioids binding to mu-opioid receptors in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, significantly slowing GI motility.8,9 Three effects that can contribute to OIC include:
- Decreased peristaltic motion10
- Increased fluid absorption from gut10
- Decreased fluid secretion into gut10
You have the power to identify OIC and intervene early to help address the underlying cause
Take a proactive approach to OIC by starting the conversation with your patients. These questions can help to identify OIC:
How many bowel movements are you having per week?
Are you taking OTC laxatives? How many have you tried?