Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Medications that can Cause Constipation

Medications associated with an increased risk for developing constipation include the following categories:

  Categories of medications that may contribute to constipation:

• Analgesics
Continuous opioid therapy
Non-opioid therapy: NSAIDS
• Antacids containing aluminum or calcium
• Drugs with Anticholinergic activity, such as:
Anticonvulsants
Antidepressants
Antiepileptics
Antihistamines
Antihypertensives (calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, Beta blockers)
AntiParkinson agents
Antipsychotics
Antispasmodics
Anxiolytics
• Bisphosphonates
• Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., Acetazolamide)
• Calcium supplements
• Cytotoxic chemotherapy
Vinca alkaloid chemotherapy
Other cytotoxic agents
• Diuretics
• Histamine-2 blockers
• Hypnotics
• Iron supplements
• Laxatives (usually attributed to long term use of stimulant laxatives)
• Lipid-lowering drugs
• Muscle relaxants (e.g., Baclofen)
• Proton pump inhibitors
• Sedatives