Management of Opioid-Induced and Non–Opioid-Related Constipation in Patients With Cancer: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to inform the development of national clinical practice guidelines on the management of cancer constipation. LITERATURE SEARCH: PubMed®, Wiley Cochrane Library, and CINAHL® were searched for studies published from May 2009 to May 2019. DATA EVALUATION: Two investigators independently reviewed and extracted data from eligible studies. The Cochrane Collaboration risk-of-bias tool was used, and the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach was used to assess the certainty of the evidence. SYNTHESIS: For patients with cancer and opioid-induced constipation, moderate benefit was found for osmotic or stimulant laxatives; small benefit was found for methylnaltrexone, naldemedine, and electroacupuncture. For patients with cancer and non-opioid-related constipation, moderate benefit was found for naloxegol, prucalopride, lubiprostone, and linaclotide; trivial benefit was found for acupuncture. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Effective strategies for managing opioid-induced and non-opioid-related constipation in patients with cancer include lifestyle, pharmacologic, and complementary approaches. SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL CAN BE FOUND AT HTTPS: //


  • Ginex, Pamela
  • Hanson, Brian
  • LeFebvre, Kristine
  • Lin, Yufen
  • Moriarty, Kerri
  • Maloney, Christine
  • Vrabel, Mark
  • Morgan, Rebecca

publication date

  • November 1, 2020