Pet Peeve Alert: Can We Have a Constipation Medication?

This might be one of my biggest pet peeves. Adding a medication when we are already doing the opposite with another medication.

I had a patient a while back who was taking cholestyramine twice daily for constipation. The patient and caregivers were unclear why the patient was on it but was noting that constipation was becoming a problem. They asked the provider to please help manage constipation.

It turned out that the patient had reported symptoms of diarrhea several years ago and was put on the cholestyramine at that time. The cholestyramine continued until the present time. With the report of constipation, the provider instinctively recommended Senna-S one tablet once daily.

As a healthcare professional, please review the medication list prior to making any medication changes. This situation ended up likely resulting in two or three extra medication administrations when this totally wasn’t necessary in the beginning. Reducing and possibly discontinuing the cholestyramine was the correct action to take versus adding a drug with opposing effects.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

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Written By Eric Christianson

October 14, 2020

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