What is Linzess?
Linzess (linaclotide), known as Constella outside of the U.S and Mexico, is used to treat bowel conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
It increases the amount of fluid in the intestines, softening stool, and it allows food to pass through the body more easily. It helps to relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as unfinished bowel movements, bloating and abdominal pain.
This is not recommended to give linzess to children 6 years to less than 18 years of age due to the risk of dehydration (loss of body water and salt).
Do not share this medication with others as this may not treat their symptoms and can cause an adverse reaction. Consult a doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is unknown if Linzess will harm the fetus or pass to breast milk.
Frequently Asked Questions About Linzess/Constella (Linaclotide)
Your doctor should provide instructions on how to use Linzess. The manufacturer also provides a patient information leaflet for reference. If you have any additional questions, call your doctor or pharmacist. Your dose and instructions may vary depending on your condition and response to treatment.
Linzess is taken half an hour prior to your first meal on an empty stomach for at least 12 weeks of linzess treatment or longer. Do not break or chew the capsules; swallow them whole to get the medication into your system. If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, contact a doctor or pharmacist on alternative methods to take the capsules.
This has to be taken consistently to get optimal results. If you miss a dose, simply skip it and take the next one on schedule. Do not take an additional dose to “catch up”. Taking more than the recommended dose can result in more frequent or severe side effects.
Linzess has known side effects. This is not a complete list and includes frequently reported adverse events. Report side effects to your doctor or pharmacist if they are severe or you need help managing them.
Diarrhea, the most common side effect can be severe. If you experience severe diarrhea, stop taking linzess and call your doctor.
- loss of appetite
- pressure in the stomach
- tightness in the chest
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- loss of voice
- Acid or sour stomach
- excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- sunken eyes
- stomach discomfort or upset
- ear congestion
- full or bloated feeling
- stuffy or runny nose
- sore throat
- severe diarrhea
- passing gas
- increase in heart rate
- difficulty swallowing
- wrinkled skin
- shortness of breath
- bloody, black, or tarry stools
- swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
- decreased urination
- Bleeding from the rectum
- rapid breathing
- loss of bowel control
- Body aches or pain
- dry mouth
- hives or welts, itching, or skin rash or redness
- fast heartbeat
It is important to disclose all your current medications with your doctor to prevent allergic reactions or adverse interactions. They may have to make a decision if the interaction is worth the benefit of using either drug or if your therapeutic regime needs to be changed.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to provide basic information on this medication and is not intended to replace the medical advice provided by a certified medical professional. Any prescription drug use needs to be approved by your doctor.
Do not avoid or ignore any advice provided by your physician in favor of what is written here. Always consult with a pharmacist or doctor before taking this medication and seek counselling if you have any questions or concerns about your medication.