Laxatives And Percocet: Safe Together?

can I take laxative with percocet

Constipation is a common side effect of opioid medications like Percocet, affecting 40 to 95% of patients. To prevent this, laxatives should be started at the same time as opioid treatment. However, laxatives can sometimes counteract the effects of certain medications, so it is important to consult a healthcare provider before taking them with prescription drugs. Additionally, it is recommended to increase dietary fiber, fluid intake, and physical exercise to prevent constipation.

Characteristics Values
Can I take laxatives with Percocet? Yes, but check with your healthcare provider first.
Why take laxatives with Percocet? To prevent opioid-induced constipation (OIC).
When to take laxatives with Percocet Laxatives must be started at the same time as the opioid to prevent OIC.
Types of laxatives to take with Percocet All types of laxatives can be used as initial therapy except for bulk-forming laxatives.
Side effects of taking laxatives with Percocet Bloating, gas, stomach cramps, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, chronic constipation, and intestinal blockage.


Laxatives and Percocet can be taken together, but only under medical supervision

It is important to note that laxatives and Percocet can be taken together, but only under medical supervision.

Percocet is a medication that combines an opioid pain reliever (oxycodone) with a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen) to help relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone, as an opioid, is known to commonly cause constipation, with studies showing that 40 to 95% of patients taking these medications will experience this side effect. Constipation can also be caused by the anesthesia used during surgery or how much and what a person is eating and drinking.

Laxatives are medicines that help treat constipation by softening hard stools or stimulating the bowels to move, making it easier to pass stool. They are typically used when lifestyle changes, such as eating high-fiber foods, taking probiotics, drinking more fluids, and exercising, have not provided relief from constipation. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider before taking laxatives, especially if one is pregnant, giving laxatives to a child, or taking prescription medications such as opioids.

When considering taking laxatives with Percocet, it is crucial to seek medical advice. While laxatives can help prevent or manage constipation caused by opioid use, certain types of laxatives, such as bulk-forming laxatives, should be avoided as they can worsen abdominal pain and contribute to bowel obstruction. Additionally, some laxatives may interact with other medications, including opioids, and it is important to be aware of potential side effects and complications.

To prevent constipation while taking Percocet, it is recommended to eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. If these measures are insufficient, a healthcare provider may advise taking a laxative, recommending the appropriate type and providing instructions for safe use. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and not to take more than instructed, as it is possible to overdose on laxatives.

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Opioids like Percocet are known to cause constipation

The slowing of digestion by opioids is caused by several factors. Firstly, opioids can cause gastroparesis, where the stomach takes longer to empty due to reduced muscle efficiency. Secondly, opioids affect the middle of the small intestine (jejunum) by increasing non-propulsive circular muscle contractions, which decrease the peristalsis that normally moves food along. This also contributes to harder stools, making them more challenging to pass.

Additionally, opioids influence the anal sphincter's response to the drug. Typically, the presence of stool in the rectum triggers a natural urge to pass it. However, opioids can dampen this sensation, leading to holding stools for too long.

The combination of these effects on the digestive system results in constipation for some individuals taking opioids. This can be a significant problem, especially for those requiring long-term pain management with these medications.

To address opioid-induced constipation, treatment options include lifestyle changes and medications. While over-the-counter laxatives may be recommended, they are often not sufficient to provide complete relief. Bulk-forming laxatives, for example, may not be advised as they could worsen symptoms. Instead, osmotic laxatives, such as Miralax, lactulose, or milk of magnesia, are often preferred. These work by drawing more water into the intestine, softening stools, and making them easier to pass. Stimulant laxatives, such as bisacodyl, senna, and castor oil, are also an option, but they are not usually recommended for long-term use due to potential side effects.

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Laxatives are medicines that help treat constipation

There are several types of laxatives, including bulk-forming laxatives, osmotics, stool softeners, lubricants, and stimulants. Bulk-forming laxatives, such as psyllium (Metamucil®), add soluble fiber to the stool, making it bigger and softer. This stimulates the colon to contract and push out the stool. Osmotic laxatives, like polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX®), pull water from the body into the colon, softening the stool. Stool softeners, such as docusate (Colace®), increase the water and fat absorption of the stool, making it softer. Lubricant laxatives, which include mineral oil, coat the colon, making it slick and preventing water absorption from the stool. Stimulant laxatives, including bisacodyl (Dulcolax®), activate the nerves controlling the colon muscles, forcing the colon to move the stool along.

Laxatives should not be the first option for treating constipation. It is recommended to first try lifestyle changes, such as eating high-fiber foods, taking probiotics, drinking more fluids, and exercising. If these changes do not help, then laxatives may be considered. It is important to consult a healthcare provider before taking laxatives, especially for those who are pregnant or taking prescription medications, as they can interact with other medicines.

It is crucial to follow the instructions on the medication to prevent side effects and potential complications. Overuse of laxatives can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, chronic constipation, and intestinal blockage. They should be used sparingly and with caution, as they can also delay the diagnosis of underlying conditions causing constipation. If constipation persists or occurs frequently, it is important to consult a doctor as it may be a symptom of a more serious health issue.

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Opioids are a class of drugs that are often prescribed to alleviate severe acute and chronic noncancer pain. However, they are associated with many side effects, including opioid-induced constipation (OIC). OIC affects between 40% and 95% of patients without cancer who are prescribed opioids. To prevent OIC, laxatives must be started simultaneously with opioid therapy. Once OIC is established, it can be challenging to restore bowel function to its pre-opioid status.

Bulk-forming laxatives are not recommended for treating OIC. These laxatives, such as psyllium, increase the bulk of stools, distend the colon, and stimulate peristalsis. However, opioids inhibit peristalsis, which worsens abdominal pain and can contribute to bowel obstruction. Therefore, bulk-forming laxatives are unsuitable for OIC treatment.

Instead, stimulant laxatives like senna or bisacodyl, often combined with a stool softener, are the most common treatment for OIC. Stool softeners, such as docusate, facilitate the admixture of fat and water in the faeces, making it softer and easier to pass. Osmotic laxatives, such as polyethylene glycol, are also effective in treating OIC by drawing water into the colon and hydrating the stools.

Other treatment options for OIC include peripheral opioid receptor antagonists, which block the constipating effects of opioids without compromising their analgesic effects. Examples include methylnaltrexone (Relistor), naloxegol (Movantik), and naldemedine (Symproic). These agents are recommended for patients who do not respond to laxatives.

While laxatives can help prevent and manage OIC, it is essential to address the underlying cause of constipation. Lifestyle modifications, such as increasing dietary fibre and fluid intake, as well as physical activity, are crucial in preventing and managing OIC.


Lifestyle changes like increasing fibre intake, drinking more water, and exercising can help treat constipation

Constipation is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors, including diet, stress, and lack of exercise. It is a side effect of certain medications, including opioids like Percocet, which are often prescribed for pain management after surgery. To address constipation, it is recommended to make small, gradual lifestyle changes, such as increasing fibre intake, drinking more water, and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine.

Increasing fibre intake is a well-known strategy to combat constipation. Fibre-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Aim for 20-35 grams of fibre per day for adults, and be sure to read food labels to track your fibre intake accurately. High-fibre fruits include dried figs, prunes, Asian pears, raspberries, and apples. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, baked potatoes with skin, peas, and sun-dried tomatoes are also excellent sources of fibre.

In addition to increasing fibre, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can worsen constipation, so aim for at least 1.5 litres of water per day. Avoid caffeine, as it can have a dehydrating effect.

Regular exercise is another key component to improving constipation. Lack of physical activity, especially in seniors, can contribute to constipation. Incorporating light exercises like walking, taking the stairs, or a 20-minute walk during your lunch break can help keep things moving in your colon.

It is important to note that while laxatives can provide temporary relief, they are not a long-term solution. Prolonged use of certain laxatives can lead to side effects such as dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. If you are considering laxatives, consult your doctor to determine if they are appropriate for you.

By making these lifestyle changes and being mindful of your diet, exercise, and hydration, you can effectively treat and manage constipation. Remember to be consistent and patient, as changes may take time to have a noticeable impact on your bowel habits.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, but it is important to consult your doctor or pharmacist before doing so. Percocet is an opioid pain reliever that can cause constipation as a side effect. Laxatives can be used to treat constipation, but it is important to start with gentle, gradual treatment and to be aware of potential side effects such as bloating, gas, or stomach cramps.

There are several alternatives to laxatives that can help prevent or treat constipation caused by Percocet. These include:

- Eating high-fiber foods

- Drinking plenty of fluids

- Getting regular exercise

- Taking probiotics

- Adjusting your diet to include more fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, bran products, and nuts

The potential side effects of taking laxatives with Percocet include bloating, gas, stomach cramps, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance. It is important to follow the instructions on the medication to reduce the risk of side effects.

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