Motegrity is a medication used to treat gastrointestinal conditions. It’s only available on prescription and is prescribed to target regular idiopathic constipation. The term idiopathic means that the cause of a condition isn’t known.
We’ll cover more information about Motegrity in our review below, including what it does, any side effects, alternatives to the medication, and whether Motegrity is effective or not.
Motegrity is a prescription drug used to treat CIC, chronic idiopathic constipation within adults. CIC is diagnosed when constipation has been going on for at least 3 months and doesn’t have any identifiable cause.
Motegrity comes from selective serotonin (5-HT4) receptor agonists. It’s available in a tablet form which is taken orally once daily, in either 1 or 2mg strength levels.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) gave Motegrity its approval in December 2018.
Motegrity’s active substance is prucalopride, but this isn’t available in the generic form. You can only take prucalopride as Motegrity.
What Motegrity Does
Bowel movements are passed through a process known as peristalsis. This occurs when the muscles in your intestines relax and tighten, moving food across the digestive tract.
If peristalsis is affected by muscles that don’t contract or loosen enough, this can lead to constipation.
When Motegrity is taken to treat CIC, the drug binds to particular receptors within your intestine lining. This increases how often the digestive muscles move.
When the drug fixes these receptors, the nerves inside your intestines produce chemicals that make the digestive muscles tighten.
These motions make it easier for food to pass through your digestive system, as well as deliver the feeling of needing to pass bowel movements.
Is Motegrity Effective?
The effects of Motegrity were looked at in clinical studies. Over 12 weeks, 19-38% of participants who took Motegrity had, at a minimum, three bowel movements each week. This started to improve after the first week on the drug.
In most cases, Motegrity will help you pass a bowel movement after a few days.
Potential Side Effects
Taking Motegrity can result in side effects, which may be mild or severe depending on the individual. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are some side effects that may happen after using Motegrity.
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating or gas
- Vomiting or nausea
- Migraines or headaches
- Tiredness or low energy
These side effects may resolve themselves in a few days, but some may take longer, even a few weeks to do so. If these side effects are more serious, you’ll need to see a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible.
Severe Side Effects
Severe side effects from taking Motegrity are rare, but they still have a chance of occurring. If you think you are experiencing a serious reaction, make sure you call your doctor immediately.
If your side effects feel life-threatening, or you believe that something is seriously wrong, don’t hesitate to call 911. Severe side effects can involve allergic reactions, thinking about suicide, or related actions.
Allergic reactions can vary from mild to severe. Mild allergic reaction symptoms involve rashes, itchiness, and flushing throughout the skin.
Severe allergic reactions aren’t common, but they can involve trouble breathing, swelling along the throat and mouth, and angioedema, which is swelling beneath the skin.
Symptoms of suicidal thoughts can be difficult to identify, but they include experiencing depression, abrupt thoughts of suicide, communicating about suicidal actions, or attempting suicide.
Is Weight Loss A Side Effect From Taking Motegrity?
The results from clinical research found that weight loss wasn’t a side effect of taking Motegrity.
At present, it isn’t FDA approved to take a weight loss medication, and no research is looking at the effect of Motegrity on weight.
Some individuals have attempted to lose weight by taking constipation medication. This is never advisable.
Motegrity should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. Using it to lose weight can result in severe side effects, including dehydration, diarrhea, and electrolyte imbalances.
These can be serious as they can cause kidney, muscle, and heart conditions later.
People who want to lose weight should talk to their doctor about their wishes. They’ll be able to help you produce a safe, yet effective weight loss plan.
Conditions Motegrity Can Treat
The FDA approves Motegrity to be prescribed as a treatment for particular conditions.
As mentioned above, Motegrity is FDA-approved to treat CIC in adults. Chronic idiopathic constipation can lead to the following issues:
- Lumpy or particularly hard stools
- Fewer bowel movements
- Unable to fully empty the bowels
- Feeling as though the bowels are blocked
- Strained when passing bowel movements
Other than being used to treat constipation, some may use Motegrity off-label as a treatment for other issues.
The FDA hasn’t approved Motegrity as a treatment for gastroparesis, but some may use it off-label to do so.
Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach takes a long time to pass food. It can lead to nausea and vomiting, as well as feeling particularly full after eating.
Some researchers have looked at Motegrity’s effect on gastroparesis.
More studies are needed to confirm whether Motegrity is a suitable treatment for the condition, but these two studies have found that the drug may have a positive effect.
As is the case with gastroparesis, Motegrity isn’t FDA-approved as an IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) treatment. However, some may use the drug off-label to treat the condition.
This study is looking at whether Motegrity is a suitable IBS medication, but we still are unsure about when the results will be ready.
Each Motegrity dosage will be different from person to person. Your doctor will need to assess your kidney’s condition to prescribe the right amount for you.
The information below will cover common dosage amounts, but if you are taking Motegrity, only consume the amount that your doctor has prescribed for you.
Motegrity comes in tablet form and is taken orally, once each day. These tablets come in two different strengths, 1 mg, and 2mg.
For those with CIC, a common dosage amount is 2 mg each day, which is also Motegrity’s maximum advised dosage.
You may be prescribed a lower amount if you live with kidney disease, or if your symptoms aren’t as severe.
If you miss a dose of Motegrity, the advice is to take it again once you remember. However, this advice changes if it’s nearly time for your next dose.
In this case, don’t take your missed dose, only your next dose at the usual time. Never take more medication to compensate for missed doses.
Long Term Use
If Motegrity turns out to be safe and effective for your symptoms, you may be prescribed it for the long term.
However, this may not be the case with all patients. You may only need Motegrity for the short term depending on your condition.
Other than Motegrity, there are several other drugs available that can help constipation symptoms. These might be better for your circumstances compared to others.
If you are thinking about switching to an alternative medication, always consult your doctor for advice. They’ll be able to tell you if Motegrity is the best option for you, or if other alternatives will work better.
Some examples of drugs below may be used off-label for constipation, even though they aren’t specific constipation treatments.
Other medications or supplements that may treat CIC are:
- Soluble fiber supplements, like psyllium husk, or Metamucil.
- Probiotic supplements
- Polyethylene glycol
- Magnesium citrate
Cost Of Motegrity
Like all medications, Motegrity’s cost can differ depending on the area you live in. You can check what Motegrity might cost for your state through GoodRx.com.
The price indicated on Good Rx might not factor in insurance payments. The full price of Motegrity will depend on which state you live in, your pharmacy, and the type of insurance you have.
If necessary, you can also obtain financial support to cover the cost of Motegrity.
The company that produces the drug, known as the Shire, has a Savings Card scheme. You can visit the scheme’s website for more information, or call their line at 844-447-2582.
Who Should Avoid Taking Motegrity
Motegrity might not be suitable for people with particular medical issues, including the following:
- History Of Serious Depression Or Suicidal Behavior: Motegrity use has been linked to suicidal behavior. Anyone who has experienced serious depression or suicidal thoughts in the past should talk to their doctor about their concerns.
- Rips Or Blockages In The Intestines Or Stomach Wall: People with tears in the stomach or bowel blockages shouldn’t consume Motegrity.
- Severe Swelling In The Intestines: People with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and toxic megarectum or megacolon should avoid taking Motegrity.
- Kidney Conditions: Motegrity is cleared through the kidneys after it is consumed, but people with serious kidney issues may struggle to clear Motegrity from their system.
The Bottom Line
From looking at the studies, Motegrity can be a great drug for those suffering from CIC.
It may be used off-label to treat conditions like gastroparesis, but it’s best to avoid taking it for other conditions unless your doctor has said otherwise.
Motegrity is effective, but you should always consider its potential side effects. Milder ones, like headaches and nausea, aren’t usually serious, but serious ones, while rare, are always a greater concern.
You can lower the chance of these side effects occurring by sticking to your doctor’s advice.
Similarly, people with certain conditions, like kidney disease, or suicidal tendencies, should think twice before taking the drug. You might want to avoid Motegrity entirely or speak with your doctor about lower dosages.