Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a different type of constipation.


Know the basics:

Opioids block pain signals, but they can also block activity in the bowel

OIC is one of the most common side effects of opioids

OIC can last for as long as you’re taking opioids to manage your chronic pain

 Signs it may be time to talk to your health care provider about OIC

Hard stools: The appearance of your stool is an important clue to your digestive health. Dry, hard stools are a good indicatorof constipation

Decreased number of bowel movements: Many patients taking opioid medications experience a decreased number of bowel movements, which may be an indicator of OIC

Feeling of incomplete evacuation: If you are using the restroom often but do not feel you are having complete bowel movements, this could be a symptom of OIC

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Watch our Big Game Spot, “ENVY” now.

Opioid Induced Constipation Awareness Project

510 survey participants who were self-identified as patients who are currently or have taken opioids long-term. Each participant watched an online video and completed our survey showing their understanding/knowledge of OIC.

We have identified some of the patients who participated willing to or have already contacted their local and state legislators to let them know the importance of access to OIC medications.

We also produced an awareness video on OIC, bookmark, and spoke about the OIC issues and challenges in radio shows and in person presentations.

Survey Question Yes No Sometimes
Do you currently take opioids to treat and manage your pain? 287 72 151
Have you ever experienced OIC as a result of opioid use to manage your pain? 343 167
Did you know there are prescription drugs specifically for OIC? 478 32
Experience? Appetite loss 165 345
Experience? Tiredness and lethargy 284 226
Experience?  Abdominal Tenderness 331 179
Experience?  Feeling and being sick 382 128
Experience?  Bulging in abdomen 346 164
Experience?  Bloating Feeling 391 119
Experience?  Cramping 311 199
Experience?  Cutting Pain 115 395
Experience?  Stabbing Pain 173 337
Do you plan to ask your doctor for more information? 487 23
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