Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD, PhD
Linzess is used in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) symptoms. Constipation is usually due to a sedentary lifestyle, lack of fluids, and eating less fiber. It can be dealt with by doing more exercise, changing the diet, and taking laxatives or stool softeners.
Some people may require aggressive treatment for constipation. Linzess (linaclotide) is prescribed for the treatment of a subtype of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation and complaints like stomach pain, cramps, and bloating. It is also prescribed to those who suffer from CIC. CIC is a condition in which there is difficulty or infrequent passage of stools for three months or longer.
How Does Linzess Work?
Linzess belongs to a group of medicines characterized as peptide agonists of guanylate cyclase-C receptors. It stimulates specific receptors, cGMP, in the digestive tract to increase fluid flow into the intestine. This action increases the colon’s contraction rate and helps reduce the pain a person feels within the abdomen and digestive tract. Linzess acts locally on the small and large intestines. Hence there is little risk of unwanted side effects.
A study “Linaclotide: evidence for its potential use in irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation” published in Core Evidence shows that people using Linzess may experience an increase in the number of bowel movements and improvement in stool consistency, less straining, and minor abdominal discomfort.
How Should Linzess Be Taken?
Linzess comes in the form of capsules. It is swallowed as a whole without crushing it. This helps improve the absorption of tablets. Linzess should be taken at the same time every day, on an empty stomach, and at least half an hour before meals.
Even though Linzess is a safe and effective medicine for most people, pregnant and breastfeeding females should take it only after consulting a doctor.
How Long Does Linzess Take To Work?
Linzess can act at different speeds depending on constipation depending on severity. Typically, Linzess works quickly. Some people experience the benefits of Linzess quickly, but it can take up to two weeks to take effect on other people.
What Are The Side Effects Of Linzess?
The most common side effects experienced by people taking Linzess are diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, abdominal distension, and stomach ache. Although diarrhea is a common side effect of Linzess, it usually passes after the first two weeks of taking the medicine. If diarrhea lasts longer and one experiences symptoms of lightheadedness and dizziness, Linzess should be stopped. In rare cases, Linzess can cause severe allergic reactions, severe diarrhea, and severe stomach pain.
How To Prevent The Side Effects Of Linzess?
Although altogether avoiding the side effects of Linzess is not possible, some things can reduce the severity of these side effects.
- Do not exceed the recommended dose
The daily recommended dose of Linzess for IBS-C is 290 mcg. Being consistent with the medications is very important as taking medicine regularly can help the body process Linzess better and reduce the chances of experiencing side effects. In addition, taking medicine on an empty stomach can make a massive difference in the efficacy of the treatment.
- Storing Linzess properly
Storing Linzess properly is essential to make sure it retains its efficacy. One should not take expired or improperly stored medication as it can increase the chances of unwanted side effects and affect its effectiveness. Linzess should be stored at room temperature, in a dry place, and in its original container. It is essential to keep the drying agent that comes with the bottle inside the bottle to prevent excess moisture from affecting the medicines. The bottle should be closed tightly.
- Inform your doctor about your medical history
Before taking Linzess, your doctor should be aware of your medical history. This helps assess your health condition and monitor your response to the medicine. Then, the dose can be adjusted if needed, or alternative medicine can be chosen.
- Assessing the response of Linzess
One should listen to their body while taking this medicine. In case of the onset of side effects, they should consult a doctor. However, most people can take Linzess long-term with minimal side effects if they take it as advised. According to the FDA, in long-term trials, out of the 2,147 people with IBS-C who took Linzess regularly, 29% of them had their dose reduced because of the adverse reactions. The side effects should be monitored carefully.
Does Linzess Interact With Other Medicines?
Linzess can interact with other medicines and affect their action. It can also increase the severity of some side effects of other medications. Hence, Linzess should be avoided in people who take laxatives(medications for the treatment of constipation), medicines to treat stomach ulcers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
Sometimes, diarrhea caused by Linzess can hinder the action of other medicines. For example, diarrhea for a prolonged time can decrease the efficacy of contraceptive pills.
One must take certain precautions before starting Linzess. Any previous episode of allergic reaction to linaclotide(the active ingredient of Linzess) should be considered before prescribing Linzess. Not only that, obstruction in the stomach, intestine, pregnancy, breastfeeding females, and children below 18 years should avoid taking Linzess. One must consult a specialist in case of prolonged diarrhea, heart disease, diseases related to the blood vessels, and chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease.
Linzess is used to treat constipation. Although knowing the exact cause behind constipation can help in providing some concrete towards managing it, Linzess has
successfully helped in providing relief to people with chronic idiopathic constipation.
How to Figure Out the Best Laxative for Your Constipation. (2022, June 2). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-laxatives-for-constipation-1944793
Wald, A., & Lee, N. (2012). Linaclotide: evidence for its potential use in irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation. Core Evidence, 39. https://doi.org/10.2147/ce.s25240
You Can Have Chronic Constipation That Is Not IBS. (2020, November 24). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/functional-constipation-1945046