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MS Contin and Constipation

If you are taking MS Contin (morphine sulfate ER), it is likely that you will experience some degree of constipation. Unlike many other side effects, constipation due to MS Contin does not go away over time, as the body never adjusts to the effects of MS Contin that cause constipation. If you are taking MS Contin and constipation becomes a problem, ask your healthcare provider to recommend a laxative that is right for you.

Does MS Contin Cause Constipation?

MS Contin® (morphine sulfate ER) is a prescription pain medication that contains morphine. Like most narcotics, MS Contin is likely to cause constipation. In fact, almost everyone who takes the drug will develop some degree of constipation.

Will It Get Better?

Some narcotic side effects (such as drowsiness or nausea) tend to go away as your body adjusts to the medication. However, constipation due to narcotics will not go away or improve with continued use. Someone who has been using MS Contin for years is just as likely to have constipation due to the drug as someone who just started taking it. The body never adjusts or adapts to the effects of MS Contin that cause constipation.

Constipation With MS Contin: Prevention and Treatment

Although non-drug treatments for constipation, such as exercise and an increased intake of fiber and water, may provide some relief, most people find that a laxative is usually necessary to prevent and treat constipation due to MS Contin. Although stool softeners, such as docusate (Colace® and others), may help a little, stimulant laxatives are often necessary. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist to recommend a laxative that is best for your situation (don't forget to mention that you are taking MS Contin). In many cases, a combination stool softener plus a stimulant laxative is a good choice.
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