How to deal with Drug induced constipation in pregnancy? - NCT


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How to deal with Drug induced constipation in pregnancy?

EvaK82 profile image

Hi All

I’m 12w5d and for a bit longer than that I have also suffered with a disc prolapse and sciatica pain. At Christmas a chest infection with lots of coughing and a fever made the prolapse worse. As a result I can’t sit or lay without pain and haven’t been able to sleep. At wits end I saw lots of doctors who concluded a pain therapy regime of: 20mg Amytriptiline in evenings and 1g paracetamol + 16mg codeine 4 times a day. The pain is now manageable to the point that I can do the mobilisation exercises (Hydrotherapy) and can get 2-3h of sleep at night, a bit of walking a d stretching and then back to another 2-3h.

BUT both Amytriptiline and Codein tend to make you constipated- which is basically my new big issue 😓

I’m taking Lactulose (45ml day) stool softener and Physilium Husk capsules for fibre. Plus I am drinking loads and I am walking all day (as it’s least painful) - but nothing much moves!! 💩

When a little bit has come out, it was soft - but it is as if the whole colon movement/ muscles have been switched off. I’ve tried abdominal massage am starting on the prunes and prune juice. Failing this I am considering an overnight Dulcolax - although they are not recommended in pregnancy 😳

Has anyone else take them in pregnancy? I am on the cusp of 1st/2nd trimester...

Before I got pregnant I would occasional take dulcolax and it worked fine for me - I never had agonising cramps. Just one big bowl movement in the morning- and relief 😊 I so long for that 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

Please send me any tips you have

9 Replies

Wow, pregnancy + codeine sounds like the perfect storm for getting bunged up!!

Have only used dulcolax before medical exams, can't really give you any advice there, but papaya is really good for getting things moving- just make sure it's nice and ripe. It has high fiber and water content and it also has enzymes that break down other food. All my inlaws suffer with a 'slow intestine' and my sisters in law swear by papaya for breakfast. I don't know if it will be enough to 'shift' things for you right now but it might be a good habit to start afterwards to prevent things getting this bad again?

Good luck with this, it must be so uncomfortable!!

I haven’t got any advice but just wanted to say well done for coping as well as you are! I’m finding just being pregnant really hard and can’t imagine what you must be going through. I really hope you find a solution soon-it’s the last thing you need right now! Xx

EvaK82 profile image
EvaK82 in reply to

Thank you for the kind words - this means a lot!

You could also try a glycerine suppository, not sure if they are recommended during pregnancy, although i cant see any reasons why not, it sort of lubes up your colon to help things slip out easier. Papaya, pineapple, prunes and pears are all good for constipation, my midwife always said that fruit starting with a P helps you poop!

EvaK82 profile image
EvaK82 in reply to

Great tips - thank you!

EvaK82 profile image
EvaK82 in reply to

Just to say that the glycerine suppository worked! 💩

While the package did say not to use it in pregnancy, bums website says it’s fine. Also the mode of action causes the bowl movement in a mechanical way - which means it would also limit any movement to the colon - as opposed to the uterus (which is the concern with the oral stimulants that work on all smooth muscles, like Dulcolax)

It also doesn’t seem to be habit forming so I can keep using this guilt free as long as I have to take the meds 😊

Out of interest - how many a day can you use? Most sources say 1 in 24h but I also read two... just till I sort out the “build up” 🙈

Thanks so much again!!!

in reply to EvaK82

I'm so glad it worked! I would stick to two a day, I only ever used it in the afternoon/ evening when I knew that I didn't have to be anywhere and could hang out near the loo, just in case.

I also found it good after I had given birth (vaginally with 1st and 2nd degree tears) as it really made that first post partum poo easy to get out. I was on iron tablets and it was hard to say the least!

EvaK82 profile image
EvaK82 in reply to

😨🙈 I will bear that in mind 😬🤞🏼

I’m on ondasentron for vomiting, and that causes the most terrible constipation, I’ve found the best solution is a glycerine suppository and a squatty potty (a stool to raise your legs into a better pooing position) with patience it does eventually come out x

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