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What Is Linzess (Linaclotide)?
Linzess is the brand name of the drug linaclotide, which is used to treat bowel problems, such as chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in adults.
The drug is in a class of medications called guanylate cyclase-C agonists. It works by increasing fluid in the intestine so that food and waste moves through the bowel quickly.
Linzess also blocks pain signals in the intestines.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Linzess in 2012. The drug is manufactured by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.
Linzess should not be given to children under age 18. The drug caused death in young laboratory mice during clinical testing. There isn't enough information to know whether it could harm young children.
Linzess can help control your symptoms, but it won't cure your condition. Constipation issues may improve in one week, but it may take slightly longer for your stomach pain to get better.
You should keep taking Linzess even if you feel well. Don't stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other medical conditions before taking Linzess. You shouldn't take this drug if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestine.
Pregnancy and Linzess
Linzess is a Pregnancy Category C drug, which means it's not known whether it will harm an unborn baby. You should tell your doctor if you're pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It's also not known whether Linzess passes into breast milk or could harm a breastfeeding baby. Talk to your doctor before breastfeeding while taking this drug.
Linzess Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Linzess
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects are severe or don't go away:
- Stomach pain
- Swelling or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your stomach area
Linzess and Weight Loss
There have been some reports of weight loss in people taking Linzess. However, there are also reports of weight gain. You should monitor your weight, and report any significant weight gains or losses to your doctor.
Serious Side Effects of Linzess
You should stop taking Linzess and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Severe or unusual stomach pain
- Severe or ongoing diarrhea
- Bright red or black, tarry stools
You should always tell your doctor about any prescription, non-prescription, illegal, and recreational drugs; herbal remedies; and nutritional and dietary supplements you're taking, especially the diabetes drug Symlin (pramlintide).
Linzess comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It's typically taken on an empty stomach once a day at the same time every day, such as at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day.
The usual dose for adults with irritable bowel syndrome is 290 micrograms (mcg) once daily. The usual dose for adults with chronic constipation is 145 mcg once daily.
You should swallow the capsules whole. Don't chew, split, or crush them.
Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully when taking this medicine. Don't use more or less of the drug than your doctor prescribes.
Diarrhea is a symptom of an overdose.
If you suspect an overdose, you should contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. You can get in touch with a poison control center at (800) 222-1222.
Missed Dose of Linzess
If you miss a dose of Linzess and remember before eating, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you've already eaten, check with your doctor before taking the missed dose.
If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular medication schedule. Don't double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
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