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Contributing factors (often multiple)
Exclude bowel obstruction, clinical features might include:
Correct reversible causes if appropriate.
An understanding of the patient's normal, accepted bowel habit is essential when planning treatment.
Constipation is best managed by empowering patients to adjust their doses according to response.
Almost all patients on opioids require a laxative prescribed regularly.
A combination of stimulant and softener is usually required. Modify food and fluid intake if appropriate.
See also section 1.6 Laxatives for preparations
Then consider combination of softener and stimulant laxative or change to alternative then titrate.
Aim for a comfortable, regular passage of stool.
Continue regular laxatives to retain this unless the cause has been reversed.