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Would like to share this with everyone and the dangers of constipation whilst on morphine.

I was prescribed morphine but was not given any laxatives. I started getting chronic constipation and it got to a point one day that I really had to go and nothing would come out, then all of a sudden I had excruciating pain from the bottom of my spine to the top. I was so bad that I had to be taken into hospital. They gave me an enema, which worked but I still had the pain. The doctor said I was so impacted that it was pressing on the nerves of my spine and has damaged them. I can no longer walk without a zimmer frame and have had to have my bed brought downstairs and have to use a commode. I have to have carers in to help me get washed and dressed and prepare my meals. Before this I was able to walk with a walking stick and could prepare my own meals and even hoover the carpet.

Who would know that such a small thing as constipation could cause so much damage.

Please, please address any constipation issues as soon as possible. I would hate anyone to have to go through this much pain.

Gentle hugs to everyone

6 Replies

Thank you for posting lara.

A salutary tale indeed...im so sorry that you've had such a dreadful outcome.

Whilst I would have thought that the constipation problem with opioids would have pointed out to you, clearly this was not the case.

Personally I always have lactulose to hand if I have to take a full codeine dose and make sure my fruit / veg intake is sufficient. It can be difficult to strike the right balance though.

Best wishes



Hi Sandra

I am now taking Lactulose and eating loads of prunes. Hopefully I will start getting my mobility back soon. My best wishes to you xx

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Yes Lara, I hope you are able to get some degree of independence back before too long. Try eating pears and apples as well...lots of goodness in them.

For others taking these painkillers I would say dont leave it too long before taking laxatives if diet alone doesn't resolve .


I eat lots of salads, porridge, apples, pears and prunes but the only thing that now helps is the Lactulose. I think I am now getting used to this new pain and learning how to handle it. Hope you are OK xx

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fruit never made me go to the toilet more/sooner. Fibre is what does it for me. Lots of good heart-healthy carbs and I have three bowel movements per day.

Getting here was not straightforward. When I was heavily medicated with methotrexate and more (incl omeprazole) bowel movements were not easy or good. But patient attention to good foods over time has paid serious dividends. At my worst I was in a wheelchair and could not walk 50 yards. Now I live a fairly normal life, excepting my right elbow which has osteo in it .


Flax seeds (eg 'Linulit') may help.

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