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Starting the conversation about opioid-induced constipation

(BPT) – Results of a survey of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain sheds light on constipation, a common side effect of opioid therapy.

The online survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of AstraZeneca. The survey results show that out of the 2,797 survey respondents who were prescribed opioids to manage chronic pain, 1,001 people (36 percent) reported they had personally experienced constipation in the past 3 months while they took prescribed opioid pain medication.

The survey highlights the impacts on the life of patients who took opioids and experienced constipation.

The findings show that of the 1,001 survey respondents who took opioids and experienced constipation within the past 3 months, the following observations were made due to their constipation:

* 81 percent of the 1,001 respondents reported constipation had at least a “minor negative impact” on their overall quality of life

* 40 percent of the 1,001 respondents reported skipping at least one social event in the past year

* 47 percent of the 441 employed respondents reported missing at least one day of work in the past year

* 34 percent of the 407 respondents who had children reported missing at least one of their child’s school events in the past year

Additionally, the survey found that communication barriers can keep patients who took opioids and experienced constipation from speaking up. Seventy- seven percent strongly or somewhat agreed that constipation is a condition people are ashamed or embarrassed to talk about. Furthermore, 26 percent of the 1,001 survey respondents who took opioids and experienced constipation reported they had not talked to any health professional about their constipation.

AstraZeneca’s Dr Cathy Datto, US Lead Medical Affairs, Neuroscience, says, “Starting a conversation with your healthcare provider is the first step to finding support.” She also recommends visiting www.OhISee.com for more information.

About the survey:

The online survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of AstraZeneca between March 27 – April 8, 2015. The results of the survey were drawn from 2,797 US adults aged 18 or older who were prescribed opioids to manage chronic pain, 1,001 who had personally experienced constipation in the past 3 months while they took prescribed opioid pain medication.

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