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Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Capox and constipation??

Day 5 of cycle 1, constipated. Surprised as given anti diarrhoea drugs by the nurses (not taken!). Any similar experiences?!

Bear G

Hi @Swanseacat
Sorry I can't help on this as I wasn't on capox but just wanted to say hi. I'm sure some of the others will be along later or tomorrow. I'd suggest calling your nurses in the morning just for their advice on the best thing to do.
In the meantime, are you drinking LOADS of water? You need much more than when you weren't on Chemo. If in doubt have a look at your wee, if it's a darkish colour then you need to drink more. That can make a difference to constipation.
Big hugs


Hey @Swanseacat taking any laxatives as yet? Before reaching for them i usually try coconut water, as i have found that to be really helpfull in getting things going.


Hi @Swanseacat , I was on 5Fu and found that the anti-sickness tabs gave me some grief even though they helped with the nausea. Domperidone gave me diarrhoea and Cetirizine bunged me up. You need to drink tons more water than usual to flush the chemo out, I think they suggest 2-3 litres - that's about 12 cups of tea/squash/coffee :) :x::x::x:


@bear @ofg definitely am not drinking those quantities of water - have felt too sick, will try to up now, thanks. @Sean will order some coconut water thanks for the tip! :x:


@OFJ sorry!


Hi @Swanseacat Do you have steroids? They used to have that effect on me and I had to take Laxido for a couple of days. Hope you manage to get things sorted! ❤️????


@Baxter2 yes I had 3 days of steroids to take so am hoping it was just that - I still have horrible haemorrhoids so constipation (or diarrhoea for that matter) really isn't pretty ?:x::x:


@Swanseacat , I got these too during chemo and they bled tons - bleugh - germaloid cream and paracetamol. Still have have them, hoping that they will get dealt with at some point as they hurt like hell - how are you supposed to do a 25 minute walk every day when you can't even sit down sometimes lol :x::x::x:


@Swanseacat - I had this and it was grim , as very painful . I think it was more to with the steroids for me . In the end I worked out taking some sodium docusate tablets (stool softener) on the first couple of days and then maybe a laxido aswell if still no joy .
Some people in the past have recommended prune juice aswell.


Hi @Swanseacat. Yes day 5. I've not got constipation. You ca try Docusate as suggested by Alice and Lactulose. I'm more the other way with stomach pains and slightly nauseous but can cope with it. Trouble drinking water as it has to be drink warm ? Trying cranberry juice and elderflower mixed with it. Doesn't make me want to rush for a drink tho. Poorly yesterday but feel a bit better today, Take care :x::x::x:


From the sublime to the ridiculous - today and last night had to make a toilet dash and afterwards boy did it burn... like I'd eaten the hottest curry in the universe. So painful I couldn't speak! Spoke to oncology who say ask doc for a cream. Yikes!!! Hope you're doing better @bexly33. I bloody hate haemorrhoids @OFJ and @AliceB. Surgeon says I can have mine sorted at the end of all this - feels very distant.

Bear G

Hey @Swanseacat
I think I've written elsewhere that chemo diarrhoea with haemorrhoids is the most painful thing I've experienced and I've been hit by a car!
For me the haemorrhoid creams and suppositories really helped as did a classic barrier like Vaseline.
It was so good when my surgeon could deal with them!!


Thanks @Bear Gst good to know I'm not just being a total wuss :) :x::x:

Bear G

Oh hell no!!! :x::x:


Hi @Swanseacat - exactly the same as me. I'm eating as healthy as ever - fruit, fibre, virtually no 'rubbish' - been constipated pretty much since starting Capox.

I've been using glycerine suppositories every couple of days to keep myself from becoming too uncomfortable and I'm now on Movicol.

I agree with the suggestions about in that not being able to drink normally because of the side effects means dehydration is a probable cause.

My symptoms have subsided in the last day or two and I've consciously tried to get a good 2 litres of room temp water into my system - it has helped ???


Hi Swanseacat. I totally sympathise as constipation has been my biggest bug bear. Do try and get on top of it as quickly as possible.....I have just had three weeks of unbearable agony which gp's kept misdiagnosing...partly because I was in so much pain I would not have an internal. Eventually referred back to colorectal team and next day operated on for a deep nasty anal fissure. The chemo has thinned the internal membrane so makes it more prone to fissures especially if constipated. I use sachets of laxido or macilax and make sure on chemo days and those shortly afterwards i drink at least two litres...often warm Ribena as my chemo drug can cause throat to close if I drink cold drinks. I now avoid lactulose which was initially suggested but makes you so bloated and windy! Oh the joys of our posteriors! Good luck and I hope you get sorted. :x::x::x:


Thanks very much for sharing @Regalo!!! I think this may be very interesting for anyone in the future who suffers as you have done. It shows that we have to put up with so many different side effects that don't make the traditional text books.


Hi @Swanseacat. Had two custard tarts yesterday. Not had these for a long long time and it was what I fancied. I had terrible runs about an hour later. Came on very very quickly. I also tend to be more constipated. :x::x::x:


Thank you @Regalo I will definitely keep on top of this next cycle. I went from this bout of constipation to three days of burning near-diarrhoea, now all back to normal TOUCH WOOD!! :x::x:


I have different regime but same problem. On the day of chemo I take a sachet of movecol, bet I spelt that wrong, and next day if need be. They've only realized after this long, months, this is what is making me violently sick. Then as you say its horrible running to the loo which gives you a burning sensation. Not nice. I've never had a problem with constipation but now I have to watch otherwise I am very ill. Hopefully you will find what works for you :x: