And that market for "opioid-induced constipation" — dubbed OIC — will overwhelmingly be in the United States, where 259 million prescriptions for opioids were written 2012, the last year for which data is available. Commonly prescribed opioids include Vicodin, Percocet and codeine. The new drugs work in a way that is different from traditional constipation treatments, such as Ex-Lax or prune juice.
The U.S., which has less than 5 percent of the global population, consumes an estimated 80 percent of prescription opioid painkillers — and as a result is seeing the lion's share of constipation related to use of such drugs.
"The U.S. is really liberal in opioid prescription, and that liberal use of opioids is increasing," said Claire Gibson, an analyst for the research and consulting firm GlobalData.
And "estimates would say that a large majority of people taking opioids have OIC," said Gibson, who wrote a recent report about the OIC treatment market. Anywhere from 40 to 90 percent of opioid users as some point experience OIC, according to Gibson's report and other sources.
Gibson's report projected that the market for products that treat OIC will grow in the U.S. and five major European countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom — from nearly $67 million in 2016 to more than $652 million as of 2019.
The U.S. "will represent approximately 86 percent of the total market by 2019," equivalent to $563 million in annual sales, Gibson wrote. She said the estimated patient population for OIC drugs will be "just under 4 million" people.
In addition to increased opioid use, a big driver of that market boom will be the fact that the number of new oral medications that are specifically designed to target the trigger for OIC will grow from just one in 2014 — AstraZeneca's Movantik — to up to eight drugs by 2019.
"You're going from essentially no drugs available to near-no drugs available, to a lot of drugs available," Gibson said.
That, in turn, will mean that football fans and other potential OIC sufferers likely will be seeing and hearing a lot more ads about OIC and the drugs that can relieve it.
"It's really crucial for companies that are developing these drugs to inform patients and physicians that these drugs are available, and drive patients to their physicians' office," Gibson said.
One of those ads sparked a backlash on the heels of the Super Bowl, with some critics suggesting that the ad sponsored by AstraZeneca, the U.S. Pain Foundation and other groups were contributing to the explosion of opioid use in the United States.
The ad, entitled "Envy," pushed the message that "OIC is a different type of constipation" by showing a glum man reacting to a series of visual reminders of his gastric distress: another happy man exiting a bathroom, a dog doing his business on a curb and a woman walking away from him with toilet paper stuck to her shoe.
"Longing for change? Have the conversation with your doctor," says the narrator.
Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, wasn't amused, according to his Twitter feed.
"Next year, how about fewer ads that fuel opioid addiction and more on access to treatment," tweeted McDonough, whose boss, President Barack Obama, last week proposed spending an extra $1 billion in federal funds to combat opioid abuse.
On Thursday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin called on AstraZeneca and Daiichi-Sankyo to pull the ad "and instead use the money to fund opiate and heroin prevention and treatment programs."
"The irrational exuberance with which opiates are handed out in America is driving the addiction crisis in this country," the Democratic governor wrote in a letter to the companies. "Now is the time to change that, not attempt to further normalize long-term opiate use by advertising a drug to help people take even more opiates."
Comedian Bill Maher tweeted, "Was that really an ad for junkies who can't s---? America, I luv ya but I just can't keep up."