A person can generally be considered "constipated" when they have not had a bowel movement in 3 days. Constipation is a common side effect of many chemotherapies, anti-emetics and pain medications. Below are ways to prevent and manage constipation while receiving treatment. If you find that these methods are not effective and/or you are experiencing abnormal abdominal pain, call the office for further assistance.
To Prevent Constipation
- Eat foods high in fiber such as bran, whole wheat breads and cereals, vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, nuts and popcorn.
- Walk daily as tolerated because exercise will simulate bowel movements
- Drink 8, 8oz glasses of water daily
If you become constipated
- Take Senokot S, 1 tablet twice daily
- If you are still constipated 24 hours after starting the Senokot S tablets, increase to two tablets twice daily
- If this does not help in 24 hours, take 2 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia at bedtime followed by 8 oz of water. This may be repeated after 8 hours.
- If no bowel movement by the fourth day, call your doctor or nurse. you may need to take 1 bottle of Citrate of Magnesia 4-5 hours before bedtime. Wait for OK from doctors or nurses prior to starting this.
After constipation is resolved, continue using Senokot S daily at a dose that is effective for you.