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BNF Chapter 1 – Gastrointestinal System

Constipation

Many of the drugs listed in this formulary can cause constipation and it is important that service users are provided with education and lifestyle advice to help prevent or manage constipation. Service users should be encouraged to have a high fibre diet together with adequate fluid intake and exercises where tolerated. 

Stimulant laxatives Preparations Comment
Long term use of stimulant laxatives should be avoided due to risk of an atonic non-functioning colon. (Avoid long-term use of stimulant laxatives with clozapine)
Bisacodyl 5mg tablets
5mg and 10mg suppositories
 
Docusate sodium 100mg capsules
50mg/5ml, 12.5mg/5ml
 
Glycerol Suppositories 1g, 2g, 4g  
Senna 7.5mg tablets  

 

Osmotic laxatives Preparations      Comments
Lactulose Oral solution Can take up to 48 hours to act. Administered with plenty of water.
Macrogol 3350 Oral powder (sachets) Current brand supplied for in-patients Molative® 13.8g sachets (other brands available include  Movicol®, Laxido®)
Phosphate enema Fleet ready to use enema 133ml pack with standard tube  
Sodium Citrate (Rectal) Micro-enema 5ml single dose  

 

Continue to BNF Chapter 4

 

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