This concise consultation card was developed by Guidelines for Pharmacy in partnership with Reckitt.
Constipation is a symptom-based disorder which describes defecation that is unsatisfactory because of infrequent stools, difficulty passing stools, or the sensation of incomplete emptying.1 How can you support your customers to meet their needs and align with NICE guidance?
This Guidelines for Pharmacy card summarises key professional guidance to help you advise customers and make confident recommendations.
What the guidelines say
“Encourage the person or carer to manage their symptoms by giving advice on: eating a healthy, balanced diet, and having regular meals; adequate fluid intake; increasing activity and exercise levels; and toileting routines” – NICE1
“If lifestyle measures are ineffective, or symptoms do not respond adequately, offer treatment with oral laxatives using a stepped approach” – NICE1
“Offer a bulk-forming laxative first-line, such as ispaghula” – NICE[A][B]1
Advice and discussion points
Advise on lifestyle measures, such as increasing dietary fibre, fluid intake, and activity levels.1
Recommend a bulk-forming laxative, such as ispaghula, as the first step in constipation management when lifestyle changes are not enough.[A][B]1
Explain how to take a bulk-forming laxative. Ispaghula should be taken following dosage instructions, with water, and preferably after meals.1,2
Refer to GP if there has not been a bowel movement after 3 days of treatment.2
[A] If the person has opioid-induced constipation do not prescribe bulk-forming laxatives and check guidance.
[B] It is important for the person to drink an adequate fluid intake when taking bulk-forming laxatives.
RECOMMEND FYBOGEL FOR CONSTIPATION RELIEF
- 77% of constipation patients want a treatment that helps keep them regular.3
- Contains a bulk-forming laxative for when lifestyle changes are ineffective1
- Absorbs liquid in the intestines and swells to form a bulky stool2
- Gently relieves constipation and helps restore and maintain regularity[C]2
- Usually works within 12–24 hours2
- Suitable for long-term relief.[C]
[C] If there hasn’t been a bowel movement after 3 days of treatment, a doctor or healthcare professional should be consulted.
- NICE. Clinical knowledge summaries: Constipation. NICE, 2021. Available at: https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/constipation/
- Fybogel Hi-Fibre Orange Granules SPC. Accessed February 2022. www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/621
- Reckitt. UK market research in 1000 adults. July 2019.
Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. Adverse events should also be reported to Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd on: 0333 200 5345
Date of preparation: May 2022