Constipation is a condition which can occur for many different reasons but, no matter what reason, Movicol powder sachets can prove helpful by giving fast and effective relief from the symptoms.
A type of osmotic laxative, movicol sachets contain macrogol (polyethylene glycol ‘3350’) and each sachet contains sodium bicarbonate, potassium chloride and sodium chloride. By adding the contents of each packet to water, movicol is ready to take as a drink.
An inert (chemically inactive) substance, macrogol passes through the gut without absorbing the water into the body and collects in the bowel, where the increase in liquid softens the stools, making them easier and softer to pass.
The sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride (electrolytes) in movicol help ensure that the laxative is effective without the body losing or gaining too much sodium, potassium or water.
Before taking movicol, dissolve the contents of one sachet into 125ml of water and, if you wish, you can add flavour to suit your personal taste e.g. orange juice. The dose can be made up early, in anticipation of drinking it within the next 6 hours and can be kept in the fridge (2 to 8ºC) until then. Discard any prepared movicol which was not taken during this period of time.
Three packets is the maximum number to take within one day and these should be spread out over your waking hours. Do not take movicol for more than two weeks, unless by the recommendation of your doctor for cases of chronic constipation, such as with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Other medicines can also cause constipation, including:
- antispasmodic medicines (e.g. atropine and hyoscine)
- opioid painkillers (e.g. morphine)
- anticholinergic medicines for Parkinson’s symptoms (e.g. procyclidine).
Constipation is a condition which makes passing stools painful and difficult and the condition can be indicated by bowel movements being less frequent than normal. Stools could be abnormally large, dry or hard, due to having spent so much time in the bowel, allowing water content to reduce. Such difficulties could lead to pain in the rectum and also haemorrhoids (also referred to as piles).
Constipation can be as a result of irregular eating, not enough fibre in your system and not drinking enough liquids, as well as a side-effect of other medications being taken.
Should you notice any blood when passing stools, always contact your doctor for further examination and advice.
Adults, including the elderly and children 12 years and over:
This medicine can be taken at any time with or without food or drink.
How to mix:
Open the sachet and pour the contents into a glass. Add about 125ml or a quarter pint of water to the glass. Stir well until all the powder has dissolved and the Movicol solution is clear or slightly hazy, then drink it. If you are taking Movicol for faecal impaction it may be easier to dissolve 8 sachets in 1 litre of water.
Take the contents of 1 sachet up to 3 times a day according to the severity of your constipation.
Take 8 sachets a day. The 8 sachets should be taken within 6 hours for up to 3 days if required. If you have a heart condition do not take more than 2 sachets in any one hour.
Duration of treatment:
Treatment with Movicol usually lasts for about 2 weeks. If you need to take Movicol for longer, please see your doctor. If your constipation is caused by an illness such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis (MS), or if you take medicines that cause constipation your doctor may recommend that you take Movicol for longer than 2 weeks.
Usually for long term treatment that dose can be lowered to either 1 or 2 sachets a day.
Treatment with Movicol can be for up to 3 days.
If you forget to take Movicol:
Take the dose as soon as you remember to take it.
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take medication, however if you do they can include:
- If you feel weak, increasingly tired, breathless, very thirsty with a headache or get puffy ankles stop taking Movicol and tell your doctor immediately.
- Sometimes people have stomach ache or rumbles, or an allergic reaction, or feel bloated or sick. You may have mild diarrhoea when starting to take Movicol.
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in any other way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Do not take Movicol if your doctor has told you that you have:
- A blockage in your intestine (gut obstruction, ileus)
- A perforated gut wall Severe inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or toxic megacolon
- An allergy to the active substances or any of the other ingredients of Movicol
- Heart conditions
- Pregnancy and breast feeding
- If you are pregnant or breast feeding talk to your doctor before taking Movicol.
Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.
The ingredients contained in this medicine is/are:
Macrogol 3350: 13.125g, Sodium Chloride: 0.3507g, Sodium Bicarbonate: 0.1785g, Potassium Chloride: 0.0466g.