Constipation Symptoms

Questions to ask yourself

Are you constipated? It may not be as easy to tell as you think.

For people with pain from advanced illness: Are laxatives giving you the relief you want?

You may have constipation from opioid use if you have had1

  • Hard stools
  • Infrequent stools (<3 per week)
  • Excessive straining
  • Sense of incomplete emptying
  • Excessive time spent on toilet
  • Unsuccessful bowel movement

In addition to the above symptoms of opioid-induced constipation, you should ask yourself these important questions:

  • When was the last time you felt as if your bowel movements were complete and satisfactory?
  • Think back to before you were on opioid therapy. If you experienced complete and satisfactory bowel movements at that time, do you get the same sense these days?
  • How many bowel movements each week consist of a formed stool leading to what you would consider a reasonably complete bowel movement?

The answers to these questions may help you and your doctor better understand whether your laxative therapy is effectively treating your constipation—or whether it's time to talk about RELISTOR.

To get a better sense of what your current condition may be, download and print the RELISTOR OIC Symptom Scale for Advanced Illness (PDF). You can use it when discussing constipation with your physician. The scale provides visual cues to the quality of your bowel movements.

Indication for RELISTOR

RELISTOR® is indicated for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care, when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient. Use of RELISTOR beyond four months has not been studied.

Important Safety Information about RELISTOR

Do not take RELISTOR® (methylnaltrexone bromide) Subcutaneous Injection if you have or may have a blockage in your intestines called a mechanical bowel obstruction. Symptoms of this blockage are vomiting, stomach pain, and swelling of your abdomen. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms before taking RELISTOR.

Cases of holes or openings in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been reported in adult patients with opioid-induced constipation and advanced illness with certain conditions (i.e., cancer, peptic ulcer, Ogilvie's syndrome). These holes or openings have involved varying regions of the GI tract (e.g., stomach or intestines). Use RELISTOR with caution if you have a known or suspected wound or injury to the GI tract. If you get abdominal pain that is severe or will not go away, or nausea or vomiting that is new or worse, stop taking RELISTOR and call your healthcare provider.

If you get diarrhea that is severe or does not stop while taking RELISTOR, stop taking RELISTOR and call your healthcare provider.

Use of RELISTOR beyond four months has not been studied.

Safety and efficacy of RELISTOR have not been established in children.

The most common side effects of RELISTOR in clinical studies include: abdominal (stomach) pain, gas, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and sweating.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:

Salix Product Information Call Center
Phone: 1-800-508-0024
Fax: 1-510-595-8183

Please see complete Prescribing Information for RELISTOR.

Reference:1. Lembo A, Camilleri M. Chronic constipation. N Engl J Med. 2003;349(14):1360-1368.