Linzess (Linaclotide) is a medication used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic constipation of unknown cause (idiopathic constipation). Linaclotide works in the intestine to increase bowel movements and reduce pain. Linaclotide works by increasing the production of a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate, which increases fluid secretion in the intestine. This fluid reduces the sensitivity of pain-sensing nerves.
With proper dosage, it can take up to 2 weeks before you notice an improvement in your symptoms. If you do not see a change in your IBS or your symptoms worsen, it is best to call your doctor.
Some people have reported weight loss while taking Linzess, but that is not a common side effect. If you experience rapid weight gain or loss with Linzess, then consult your doctor. Linzess should not be used for weight loss.
It is best to take Linzess 30 minutes prior to the first meal of the day. Swallow the capsules whole and do not break apart or chew. If you take linaclotide with food, it may increase gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain. If you have frequent or severe diarrhea, then the absorption of any other oral medication may be affected. If you are on the diabetes drug Symlin (pramlintide), you could experience negative drug interactions, so consult your doctor if you are on any prescription or recreational drugs.
If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, then you can break it open and sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce or in a bottle of water. Do not save it for later use and swallow the mixture right away. Linzess medication can also be given through nasogastric (NG) or gastronomy tube.
Linzess is intended for use by adults and should be kept away from children. Linzess can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration in a child who accidentally swallows this medicine. Keep the medication in its original containers along with the packet of moisture-absorbing preservative that comes with Linzess. Store at room temperature and away from heat and moisture.
It is best to call your doctor or emergency services if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Linzess.
Some common side effects of Linzess include:
If these symptoms intensify or diarrhea and stomach pain persists, consult your doctor.
What drugs may interact with Linzess?
There are not many known drug interactions with Linzess, but there may be drug interactions with over-the-counter vitamin and herbal products. If you are on the diabetes drug Symlin (pramlintide), you could experience interactions so consult your doctor if you are on any prescription or recreational drugs.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
If you happen to miss a dose of Linzess, take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Can I take Linzess if I’m pregnant?
There is no information to support whether or not Linzess affects an unborn baby or passes along to the child during breastfeeding. You should tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding before starting this medication.