|Therapeutic Area||Formulary Choices||Cost for 28|
(unless otherwise stated)
|Rationale for decision / comments|
|Keeping adequately hydrated is very important and 20-30% of acute kidney injury could be avoided or prevented as a result. For further advice visit www.thinkkidneys.nhs.uk/||Useful CKS guide to choosing a laxative here|
|Senna - suitable for self-care||7.5mg tablets: £2.98 (60)|
7.5mg/5ml SF liquid: £3.99 (500ml)
|Available OTC.Licensed only for short-term use. Syrup can be unpalatable.|
|Bisacodyl - suitable for self-care||5mg tablets: £1.94(60)|
10mg suppositories: £3.53 (12)
|Prescribe generically.Licensed only for short-term use
|Docusate sodium - suitable for self-care||100mg cap,£2.09(30); £6.98 (100)|
50mg/5ml sugar-free oral soln, 300ml=£9.19.
|Probably acts both as a softening agent and a stimulant. May be a useful alternative for people who find it hard to increase their fluid intake.|
|Second line||Glycerol suppositories||1g: £1.04 (12)|
2g: £1.67 (12)
4g: £1.15 (12)
|Glycerin suppository sizes:
• 1g = infant
• 2g = child
• 4g = adult
All available OTC
as Laxido® Orange (sugar free)
as Cosmocol Half®
as Cosmocol Paediatric®
Sachets: £3.95 (30)
Sachets: £2.99 (30)
Sachets: £2.99 (30)
|NICE Cochrane QP review in June 2010 concluded that polyethylene glycol (macrogol) should be used in preference to lactulose for chronic constipation. Using polyethylene glycol in preference to lactulose is likely to improve the quality of patient care by reducing the use of a less effective treatment.
Course of treatment for chronic constipation not normally > 2 weeks.
A stimulant laxative should be added if disimpaction is not achieved after 2 weeks.
Efficacy requires adequate fluid intake. Contains Na+, care in patients with hypertension / heart failure. Laxido® replaces Movicol® as lower cost brand equivalent.
NICE says prescribe oral macrogols as first-line treatment for children and young people with newly diagnosed idiopathic constipation.
Cosmocol comes in the following flavours: orange, lemon and lime, orange lemon and lime, plain.
Half the dose of standard (minimum 12 years age)
For children 2-11
|Bulk forming laxatives|
|Ispaghula husk effervescent granule "as Fybogel brand"||Sachets: £2.48 (30)||Gluten free and sugar free|
|Third line||Lactulose||3.35g/5ml solution: £2.47 (500ml)||Some people find it sickly sweet and unpalatable. Adequate fluid intake recommended. If used alone in opioid-induced constipation, it often needs to be given in large doses that cause bloating and colic.Takes 2 to 3 days to exert effect, “prn” use ineffective; should be taken with additional fluid. Therapeutic dose for adults 15ml twice daily. Available OTC.
Not recommended for use in inflammatory bowel disease.
|Other drugs used in constipation||Prucalopride||1mg tablets:£38.69 (28)|
2mg tablets:£59.52 (28)
|As per NICE TA211 2010, for chronic constipation in women only for whom treatment with at least two laxatives from different classes, at the highest tolerated recommended doses for at least 6 months, has failed to provide adequate relief and invasive treatment is being considered. Re-evaluate after 4 weeks treatment.
Also licensed for use in men and agreed by SPF 2015, as per criteria stated in NICE TA211.
|Lubiprostone||24mcg capsule: |
|As per NICE TA318 (July 2014), for treating chronic idiopathic constipation, that is for adults in whom treatment with at least 2 laxatives from different classes, at the highest tolerated recommended doses for at least 6 months, has failed to provide adequate relief and for whom invasive treatment for constipation is being considered.Re-examine after 2 weeks treatment|
|Linaclotide||290 microgram capsule, £37.56 (28)||Consider linaclotide for people with IBS only if:
Optimal or maximum tolerated doses of previous laxatives from different classes have not helped
they have had constipation for at least 12 months.
Follow up people taking linaclotide after 3months. [new 2015]
Not under 18 years
|Pre-op Bowel Cleansing Solutions||N/A||Bowel cleansing medicine may modify the absorption of regularly prescribed medications. Urea and Electrolytes should be checked in all patients to minimise the risk of electrolyte imbalance particularly patients taking the following medications:
Diuretics, corticosteroids, cardiac glycosides, NSAIDs, tricyclics, SSRIs, antipsychotics, carbamazepine.
See NPSA Alert and local guidelines for details.
|Peripheral opioid-receptor antagonist||Naloxegol||12.5mg film coated tablets: £55.20|
25mg film coated tablets: £55.20
|Naloxegol as an option for treating opioid induced constipation in adults whose constipation has not adequately responded to laxatives. The recommended dose is 25 mg taken orally once daily (or 12.5 mg for people with renal insufficiency).
An inadequate response is defined as opioid‑induced constipation symptoms of at least moderate severity in at least 1 of the 4 stool symptom domains (that is, incomplete bowel movement, hard stools, straining or false alarms) while taking at least 1 laxative class for at least 4 days during the prior 2 weeks.
NICE TA345 (July 2015): http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta345
|Peripheral opioid-receptor antagonist||Methylnaltrexone Injection 12mg/0.6ml||£21.05 (single vial)|
£147.35 (7 vial pack)
|Injection for opioid-induced constipation in terminally ill patients, when response to other laxatives is inadequate. Used in addition to existing laxative therapy.
Not licensed for use in any other circumstance
NICE TA277: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta277