Linzess vs Amitiza – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences

Linzess

It is the brand name of a drug called linaclotide, a new class of drugs that are part of a family of drugs called guanylate cyclase-C agonists.

This medication helps relieve constipation of irritable bowel syndrome. It works by binding to and activating certain enzymes in the intestines, hence, it accelerates the movement of content through the intestines.

It is produced by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company that develops medications for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. The FDA first approved it in 2012.

Uses

This medication is typically used for relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and for treating idiopathic constipation (chronic constipation of unknown cause).

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where a sufferer has hard feces which are difficult to expel. In the US, over 4 million people frequently experience constipation.

Symptoms of constipation may include:

  • feeling bloated;
  • abdominal pain;
  • feeling sluggish;
  • bowel movements fewer than 3 times a week;
  • painful bowel movements.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose for chronic constipation of unknown cause is 145 mcg orally once per day. For some individuals, a dose of 72 mcg once per day may be sufficient.

The usual recommended dose for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation is 290 mcg taken once per day.

Notes – because it can cause severe dehydration in a child, this medication should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old. Also, it should be taken at least half an hour before the first meal of the day.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Linaclotide

Common side effects may include:

Rare side effects may include:

  • hives;
  • black, tarry stools;
  • severe stomach pain;
  • severe or ongoing diarrhea –  it usually starts within the first 14 days of this treatment.
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Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Because there are no conclusive clinical studies whether this medication passes into breast milk, it is best to avoid it if you are breast-feeding a baby. Moreover, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, don’t use this medication because it may negatively affect the unborn baby.

Amitiza

It is the brand name of a drug called lubiprostone that produces softer and more frequent bowel movements in patients who have chronic idiopathic constipation. Constipation is characterized by the infrequent or difficult passage of stools which lasts for 3 months or longer.

The FDA first approved this medication in 2006. It is produced by Takeda, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and Asia.

Uses

It is typically used to treat irritable bowel syndrome in women with constipation as the main symptom. Also, this medication is used to treat chronic constipation.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation is 8 mcg two times per day. It should be taken orally with food and water. The usual recommended dose for chronic idiopathic constipation is 24 mcg two times per day orally with water and food.

Notes – for individuals with severely impaired hepatic function (meaning that the liver is not functioning as well as it should be), the usual recommended dose is 8 mcg two times per day. For peoples with moderately impaired hepatic function, the usual recommended dose is 16 mcg two times per day. Also, this medication is not established as safe for children, hence, its use in children is not recommended.

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Side Effects And Precautions Of Lubiprostone

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • nausea;
  • dry mouth;
  • diarrhea;
  • a runny nose;
  • gas;
  • headaches;
  • bloating;
  • dizziness;
  • vomiting;
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia);
  • back pain;
  • fever;
  • a cough.

Rare side effects may include:

  • mood changes;
  • swelling of leg or arms;
  • severe diarrhea.

Some people may experience an allergic reaction, with symptoms including:

  • trouble breathing;
  • severe dizziness;
  • swelling of the tongue, face, or throat;
  • itching;
  • rash.

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • Crohn’s disease;
  • gallstones;
  • a history of a hernia (happens when an organ pushes through an opening in the tissue  or muscle which holds it in place);
  • diverticulitis (a painful condition which occurs when pouches that form in the wall of the colon becoming inflamed);
  • impacted bowel movement;
  • Hirschsprung’s disease (a congenital disorder of the large intestine in which certain nerve cells are absent).

It is not known precisely if this medication passes into breast milk, however, according to some studies, a nursing infant can develop diarrhea if his mother is taking this medication. Also, this drug is not to be used by people with IBS diarrhea.

Alcohol

It is recommended to avoid alcoholic beverages while taking these medications.

Linzess vs Amitiza – Differences

Linzess (active ingredient – linaclotide) is an oral drug that is used in the treatment of constipation. It belongs to a group of medications called guanylate cyclase-C agonists, that work by stimulating the intestines to move food through the human body faster. It is meant to be taken as a daily maintenance medication.

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Amitiza (active ingredient – lubiprostone) is an oral drug that is used for the treatment of idiopathic chronic constipation. It belongs to a group of medication called CIC-2 chloride channel activators, that work by increasing fluid secretions in the bowel to help make it easier to pass stools. It is the only medication in the chloride channel activators class.

Home Remedies To Relieve Constipation Naturally

#1 Physical Exercise

Exercise helps to strengthen muscles within the digestive tract, plus, it helps lower your stress levels. Start with a short walk each day and gradually increase your walking time until you are walking 90 minutes per day. Also, running may encourage the movement of wastes along the intestinal tract.

#2 Prunes

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sonofgroucho/3316017655

Because they contain a stool-loosening sugar alcohol called sorbitol, prunes are frequently touted as nature’s remedy for constipation. Sorbitol decreases the risk of constipation and helps reduce the transit time of stool.

#3 Drink More Fluids

Being dehydrated can make you become constipated. To prevent dehydration, it is essential to drink sufficient water and healthy fluids.

#4 Nutritionflax

A regular diet high in food additives, processed foods, alcohol, unhealthy fats can make it harder for the body to produce normal bowel movements. On the other hand, eating more dietary fiber is a simple and efficient method to both reduce and prevent constipation.

Foods high in fiber include – chia seeds, red kidney beans, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, broccoli, hazelnuts, navy beans, sesame seeds, oat bran, oats, green peas, lentils, macadamia nuts, and cauliflower.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2546479/
https://www.linzesshcp.com/Efficacy
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169778/
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02559817

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