Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder, affecting around 10-15 percent of people in the United States and 9-23 percent worldwide. There are many symptoms associated with IBS, but those symptoms are usually mild. Yet there are between 2.4 million and 3.5 million physician visits due to IBS in the United States alone. In fact, IBS visits account for 12 percent of visits to primary care providers!
In 2012, the FDA approved a drug called Linzess that helped relieve constipation and pain for adults who displayed symptoms of IBS. The approval was a result of the success of three studies funded by Forrest Research Institute and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals which showed marked improvements in patients who had IBS. The studies found that one in five patients returned to normal bowel movements after taking Linzess, and chronic constipation patients who took Linzess had more bowel movements, less straining and less bloating and discomfort. In all, participants in the trial experienced a 43 percent improvement in abdominal pain by the end of the trial period, which was 13 percent more than what was stipulated as a mandatory outcome by the FDA.
Linzess Pill Bottle
How Linzess Works
Linzess must be taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day and must be swallowed whole. The drug’s effects are local to the intestine and work in two ways: by helping to calm pain-sensing nerves, and accelerating bowel movements. By doing this, the drug helps to increase fluid secretion, which helps ease the passage of stool and relieve the symptoms of constipation. These effects in the body are a result of a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate.
For Linzess to be most effective, it is recommended that adults with chronic idiopathic constipation take a 145 mg dosage of the medicine per day, and adults with IBS with constipation take 290 mg daily.
Those who take Linzess may experience abdominal or stomach pain and diarrhea within the first two weeks of treatment. Some other side effects include nausea, heartburn, loss of appetite, vomiting and weakness. Some side effects from taking Linzess, like rectal bleeding, decreased urination, wrinkled skin, and a loss of bowel control are rare and may require medical attention.
For more information about Linzess including a free coupon for Linzess, visit our Linzess page.