Can certain medications cause constipation?

Veronica YooDisease Prevention and Management

Yes, certain medications can cause constipation as a side effect. Some examples include:

  1. Opioids: Strong pain medications, such as codeine, oxycodone, and morphine, commonly cause constipation.
  2. Antacids: Certain antacids containing aluminum or calcium carbonate, often used for managing heartburn or acid reflux, can lead to constipation.
  3. Antidepressants: Some antidepressant medications, particularly tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may contribute to constipation.
  4. Iron supplements: Iron supplements, often prescribed for treating iron deficiency anemia, can cause constipation in some individuals.
  5. Anticholinergic drugs: Medications with anticholinergic properties, including some antihistamines, antipsychotics, and certain medications for urinary incontinence, can have constipation as a side effect.
  6. Calcium channel blockers: These medications, used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or angina, can sometimes cause constipation.

It’s important to note that not everyone who takes these medications will experience constipation, and the severity of the side effect can vary. If you suspect that a medication you are taking is causing constipation, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider. They may be able to adjust your medication, provide strategies to manage constipation, or suggest alternative treatment options.