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If you’re struggling with opioid-induced constipation (OIC), you’re not alone

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OIC is a common side effect of opioid therapy

OIC is one of the most common side effects of opioids, which are pain medications like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. In a review of clinical studies, 4 out of 10 people who took opioids for long-lasting (chronic) non-cancer pain reported constipation as a side effect of opioid therapy. Other side effects reported less frequently included nausea, sleepiness, dizziness, itchy skin, and vomiting.

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Why OIC is different

OIC is a different type of constipation—it only happens when you take an opioid and may last for the length of treatment.

Opioids block pain signals by attaching to something called mu-receptors in the brain and other parts of the central nervous system. But opioids also attach to mu-receptors in the bowel, which can cause OIC.

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Over-the-counter laxatives

Many people with OIC try over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives. These are labeled for occasional constipation and may not work for everyone with OIC.

One study looked at patients with OIC and its impact using patient surveys and medical records from almost 500 adults with chronic non-cancer pain. At the beginning of the study, 7 out of 10 people reported little to no benefit from their constipation treatments, including OTC laxatives. Constipation treatments also included prescription laxatives and behavioral therapies (including fiber supplements, increased fluids and exercise, and dietary changes).

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Talking to your doctor

You’re taking opioids for chronic pain and experiencing constipation. You might have OIC.

It’s time to talk to your doctor about a prescription option.



  • MOVANTIK may cause serious side effects, including:
    • Opioid withdrawal. You may have symptoms of opioid withdrawal during treatment with MOVANTIK, including sweating, chills, diarrhea, stomach pain, anxiety, irritability, and yawning. Patients taking methadone to treat their pain may be more likely to experience stomach pain and diarrhea. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms
    • Severe Stomach Pain and/or Diarrhea. This can happen within a few days of starting MOVANTIK and can lead to hospitalization. If either of these side effects occurs, stop taking MOVANTIK and call your doctor immediately
    • Tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (perforation). Stomach pain that is severe can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you get stomach pain that gets worse or does not go away, stop taking MOVANTIK and get emergency medical help right away
  • Do not take MOVANTIK if you:
    • Have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction) or have a history of bowel blockage
    • Are allergic to MOVANTIK or any of the ingredients in MOVANTIK
  • MOVANTIK can interact with other medicines and cause side effects, including opioid withdrawal symptoms (see symptoms above). Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start or stop any medicines during treatment with MOVANTIK
  • Before you take MOVANTIK, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
    • have any stomach, bowel (intestines), kidney, or liver problems
    • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Taking MOVANTIK during pregnancy may cause opioid withdrawal symptoms in you or your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant during treatment with MOVANTIK
    • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if MOVANTIK passes into your breast milk. Taking MOVANTIK while you are breastfeeding may cause opioid withdrawal in your baby. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take MOVANTIK or breastfeed. You should not breastfeed if you take MOVANTIK
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment with MOVANTIK
  • Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Other medicines may affect the way MOVANTIK works
  • If you stop taking your opioid pain medicine, stop taking MOVANTIK and tell your doctor
  • Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice during treatment with MOVANTIK
  • The most common side effects of MOVANTIK include: Stomach (abdomen) pain, diarrhea, nausea, gas, vomiting, headache, and excessive sweating


MOVANTIK is a prescription medicine used to treat constipation that is caused by prescription pain medicines called opioids, in adults with long-lasting (chronic) pain that is not caused by active cancer.

MOVANTIK is a prescription medicine used to treat constipation caused by prescription pain medicines called opioids, in adults with long-lasting (chronic) pain not caused by active cancer.

Click here for the Medication GuideMedication Guide and full Prescribing InformationPrescribing Information for MOVANTIK.

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