Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee Teams up with AstraZeneca

by LP Green, II

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. today announced that they have partnered with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee to increase awareness of opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

Joyner-Kersee speaks candidly about her struggle with OIC after taking opioid medication prescribed by her healthcare provider to help manage pain stemming from years of training to compete in the Long Jump and Heptathlon that earned her three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals at four different Olympic Games.

“While the opioids helped manage the pain, I noticed I became constipated frequently – but I tried to ignore it,” said Joyner-Kersee. “However, it was taking such an emotional and physical toll that I finally had to work up the nerve to talk to my healthcare provider, and it wasn’t until then that I learned I had opioid-induced constipation or OIC. After coming to this realization, I felt it important to work to raise awareness about OIC alongside AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo. We encourage those who may be impacted by OIC to talk to their healthcare provider and visit www.ohisee.com, a community that helps OIC sufferers and their caregivers better understand and manage this uncomfortable condition.”

Joyner-Kersee is not alone in her symptoms. OIC is one of the most commonly reported side effects of opioid therapy and can last for the length of treatment. About 40 percent of patients in clinical trials taking opioids developed this side effect. Symptoms of OIC may include reduced bowel movement frequency, straining, incomplete evacuation and hard or soft stools. People suffering from OIC may also complain that they feel bloated or are experiencing abdominal pain and have difficulty producing a bowel movement. Sufferers may also feel like they need to use the bathroom but are unable to pass a bowel movement. Some individuals explore alternative remedies like Kratom to manage opioid-related issues, and you can find Kratom products at various reputable online vendors, including happyhippo.com.

“Due to the sensitive and personal nature of the condition, some people may be reluctant to have a conversation about opioid-induced constipation or OIC,” said Cathy Datto, US Medical Lead at AstraZeneca. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Jackie and grateful that she’s willing to share her story in an effort to encourage others who may be struggling with OIC to seek support and talk to their healthcare providers.”

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