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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Dec 2022 - 16 Dec 2022

2023 Jan 01

J Clin Gastroenterol



Management of Opioid-induced Constipation in Older Adults.


Horrigan J, Bhumi S, Miller D, Jafri M, Tadros M
J Clin Gastroenterol. 2023 Jan 01; 57(1):39-47.
PMID: 36504229.


Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a common condition in older adults who may not be responsive to traditional laxative therapy. OIC is defined as new or worsening constipation symptoms that occur with initiation of or altering the dose of opioid analgesia. For adult patients with OIC and noncancer pain, we recommend considering nonpharmacologic interventions (eg, dietary measures, increased physical activity, and biofeedback training) and over-the-counter laxatives, followed by prescription opioid receptor antagonists (methylnaltrexone, naloxegol, and naldemedine) if traditional over-the-counter laxatives fail. Other options may include lubiprostone, linaclotide, plecanatide, and prucalopride; however, these are not indicated for OIC specifically or studied in older adults. Because of the complex nature of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in the aging population, all agents used to treat OIC must be evaluated individually and reevaluated as patients continue to age. This review will serve as a guide to managing OIC in older adults.