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HF 7668

Gyn/Onc Constipation Prevention and Treatment Strategies

Your constipation may be caused by:

  • Recent surgery

  • Chemotherapy

  • Opioids

Prevention

  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids.

  • Stay active.

  • While on opioids, take a stool softener (docusate sodium/colace) 100 mg twice daily and MiraLAX® 17 gm once daily. You can buy these over-the-counter.

Treatment

If you have no bowel movement within 48 hours after going home, follow the guidelines in this handout. Your treatment option depends on if you have had surgery on your bowels.

Have you had surgery on your bowels in the last month?

I don’t know if I had surgery on my bowels.

  • Call to review your records.

Yes, I have had surgery on my bowels in the last month.

  • Increase MiraLAX® to twice daily dosing or take 2-4 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia. Call if you do not have a bowel movement within 4-6 hours of taking milk of magnesia or within 12 hours of increasing MiraLAX®.

No, I have not had surgery in the last month.

  • Use a Dulcolax® suppository. You should have a bowel movement within 4-6 hours. Call if you do not have a bowel movement within 4-6 hours.

When to Call

  • If you are constipated and have nausea and vomiting.

  • If you are constipated and unsure if you had surgery on your bowels in the last month.

  • If the treatments listed in this handout have not worked.

Who to Call

Gyn/Onc RN Triage Line/After Hours Line

608-263-1548