Movicol is a prescription medication used to treat constipation. When taken as directed, it usually produces a bowel movement within 24 hours. As with any drug, Movicol side effects have been reported with usage. Most Movicol side effects are not severe enough for patients to stop taking the medication.
How Movicol Works
Movicol is a laxative medication used to treat chronic constipation and fecal impaction. It is manufactured by the company Norgine.
Movicol works by preventing water from being absorbed by the body so that it can be used to dilute and evacuate fecal matter within the bowel. Movicol is prepackaged in tiny packets that are diluted in water for use. The patient stirs the contents of one Movicol packet into a cup of water and drinks it immediately. The water contained within the medicinal cocktail is used to produce a bowel movement.
In addition to the active ingredient, polyethlene glycol 3350, the packets also contain a mixture of electrolytes to help keep the user's body from eliminating too many fluid-balancing minerals or water.
What Is Movicol Used For?
Movicol is generally used on a need-only basis, as long-term usage can result in dependency upon the medicine for future bowel movements. Some patients with certain chronic illnesses that limit the use of their bowels may be prescribed Movicol as a long-term treatment for constipation.
Most of the time, only one dose is needed to clear the bowel. In some cases, however, up to three doses can be taken over a period of three days.
Patients With Heart Disease
Patients with heart disease should exercise caution while using Movicol. Because the drug can aggravate the symptoms of heart disease, a physician should be consulted to weigh the benefits with the possible risks of taking Movicol.
Cautions for Using Movicol
There are certain instances where Movicol cannot be used safely and will not be prescribed to patients with specific medical issues. Patients with a history of intestinal obstruction or perforation, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or expanded large intestine cannot safely take Movicol.
Side Effects of Movicol
The most common side effects reported with the use of Movicol are diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, a bloating of the abdomen and audible gurgling sounds of the intestines. These side effects are typical of most laxatives and usually don't stop a patient from taking the medicine.
Because Movicol flushes the intestinal tract, patients should avoid taking any other medication within one hour before and after taking Movicol. The active ingredient in Movicol causes the tract to be flushed out rather quickly, so taking other medications alongside Movicol may result in the improper absorption of your other medicines.
Make sure you discuss with your doctor any possible side effects of Movicol.