Medicines That Can Cause Constipation

While working out and eating nutritious meals are an essential part of staying healthy, we often overlook a crucial aspect in all of these, i.e., riddance of waste from the body. Achieving a complete bowel movement each morning is essential because if the excrement stays within the body, it begins to rot, resulting in flatulence and other diseases. Although eating non-fibrous and dry foods is largely responsible for it, certain medicines can also cause constipation.

Medicine causing Constipation Cover


Amitriptyline weight gain

Originally, amitriptyline was developed by Merck, an American pharmaceutical company, in the 1950s. Interestingly, the company was conducting many tests for its usability and was unsure what to use this medicine for until 1959, when Frank Ayd, an American psychiatrist, suggested that it should be used as an antidepressant. Two years after that, it was approved for medical use by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. It is a form of tricyclic antidepressant, and it works by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain. In addition to treating depression, it is also prescribed to people suffering from neuropathic pain and tension headaches. When it comes to adverse effects, a patient can experience dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, and sexual dysfunction.

Brand Name: Elavil


Clozapine Constipation

While the drug was developed in 1956, it was first tested on humans in 1961. The tests were proven successful in countries like Germany and Finland; however, upon testing it in the United States, it resulted in the deaths of 16 patients. Undoubtedly, it was banned in the United States. Interestingly, it was still available in Europe. After much investigation and trials, it was finally approved for usage in the US in 1990. Clozapine is an antipsychotic drug, and it is used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Since schizophrenia happens mostly due to abnormal levels of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain, it works by balancing them. It can cause severe constipation, along with agranulocytosis, hypersalivation, blurred vision, and dizziness.

Brand Name: FazaClo


Codeine Constipation

Codeine is an opium-based cough suppressant and analgesic. While opium has been used for centuries as a painkiller, it was mostly in its natural form. This medicine was first synthesized by a French chemist, Pierre-Jean Robiquet, in 1832, although he is more famous for discovering caffeine. Due to it being an opiate, it is largely used for recreational purposes, and for this reason, it has crippled most South African countries; however, it is not limited to that region of the world because hip-hop culture also promotes it extensively. Illegal laboratories often use codeine to produce morphine. Frequently experienced adverse effects of codeine include constipation, vomiting, drowsiness, lightheadedness, and itching. Moreover, it is highly addictive.

Brand Name: Fioricet


Diltiazem constipation

Diltiazem is prescribed to people suffering from high blood pressure, angina, and arrhythmia. It is a calcium channel blocker, meaning it inhibits the flow of calcium into the blood vessels. Since calcium is required by the muscles to contract, lack of calcium causes blood vessels to relax, increasing the blood flow. It also delays the time between each heartbeat, providing relief in arrhythmia. It has been in use since 1982. Patients taking diltiazem often report experiencing constipation, swelling, dizziness, and low blood pressure.

Brand Name: Cardizem


Diphenhydramine memory

One of the most commonly used antihistamines, diphenhydramine is known to cause constipation, along with sleepiness, poor coordination, urine retention, and blurred vision. It was discovered by George Rieveschl, an American chemist, in 1943. Interestingly, in the 1960s, some tests showed weak inhibition of serotonin reuptake by diphenhydramine. While it was not approved to be used as an antidepressant, people use it recreationally to induce mild euphoria.

Brand Name: Benadryl


Ibuprofen is commonly used in the treatment of pain and inflammation. It was first synthesized by Stewart Adams, an English pharmacist, in 1961. Initially, the medicine was used to treat hangovers. It belongs to the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and it works by inhibiting prostaglandins, a chemical that induces inflammation. Analgesics are notorious for causing constipation. Additionally, it can also cause liver damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure.

Brand Name: Advil


Naproxen miscarriage

Naproxen is also a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, similar to ibuprofen; however, the key differences between these two are that naproxen is long-acting, and it is often recommended for chronic conditions. This is the reason why it is prescribed to people with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and fever. Interestingly, it is also used in horses for myositis, a form of inflammation of the muscles. People often experience heartburn, constipation, and stomach ulcers after the administration of naproxen.

Brand Name: Aleve

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