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Exercising and changing your diet can help with constipation symptoms. Over-the-counter treatments like laxatives may also help. But if your constipation keeps coming back, it could be a medical condition that may need a prescription treatment. It may be time to talk to your doctor.
Opioids are commonly prescribed to help alleviate pain. However, people taking opioids may develop constipation as a side effect, a condition called Opioid-Induced Constipation (OIC). See 'Symptoms of OIC' for additional information.
The symptoms of OIC can be different for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you experience constipation symptoms when starting or increasing the dose of an opioid medication for chronic pain not caused by active cancer, including 2 or more of the following:
Loose stools are rarely present without the use of laxatives.
Your doctor can determine if you have OIC.
Opioids are commonly prescribed to help reduce pain. However, opioid treatment may lead to constipation as a side effect. In fact, up to 40% of patients taking opioids experience this side effect.
Opioids target certain receptors in the body to help relieve pain. Opioids may also cause a decrease in:
“I had no idea my opioid pain reliever was causing my chronic constipation.”
Individual results may vary.
AMITIZA is used for 3 types of chronic constipation: CIC in adults, OIC in adults with chronic pain that is not caused by active cancer, and IBS-C in women ≥ 18 years. Effectiveness in patients taking methadone has not been established.
AMITIZA (lubiprostone) is not for everyone. If you know or suspect you have a bowel blockage, do not take AMITIZA. If you are unsure, your healthcare provider (HCP) should evaluate your condition before starting AMITIZA.
Some patients taking AMITIZA may experience nausea. Take AMITIZA with food and water to reduce the occurrence of nausea.
Do not take AMITIZA if you have severe diarrhea. Some patients taking AMITIZA may experience diarrhea. If your diarrhea becomes severe, stop taking AMITIZA and tell your HCP.
Patients may experience fainting and low blood pressure after taking the first dose or repeated doses of AMITIZA. Stop taking AMITIZA and tell your HCP if these reactions occur. Symptoms usually go away before the next dose but may recur with repeated use. Tell your HCP if you are taking any medications to lower blood pressure. Other side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting may increase the risk of fainting and low blood pressure.
Within an hour of taking AMITIZA, a sensation of chest tightness and shortness of breath may occur. These symptoms usually go away within three hours, but may recur with repeated use. Tell your HCP if you experience these symptoms.
The most common side effects of taking AMITIZA 24 mcg twice daily for CIC are nausea, diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, abdominal distension, and gas. The most common side effects of taking AMITIZA 24 mcg twice daily for Opioid-Induced Constipation are nausea and diarrhea. The most common side effects of taking AMITIZA 8 mcg twice daily for IBS-C are nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These are not all the side effects associated with AMITIZA.
Tell your HCP if you are taking a diphenylheptane opioid (e.g., methadone).
AMITIZA has not been studied in pregnant women. Based on animal studies, AMITIZA may cause fetal harm. AMITIZA should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefits justify the potential risk to the fetus. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while being treated with AMITIZA, talk to your HCP to evaluate the risks to the fetus. Tell your HCP if you are nursing and monitor infants for diarrhea.
Tell your HCP if you have liver problems.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
AMITIZA (lubiprostone) 24 mcg capsules twice daily is approved to treat Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) in adults. “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown and not due to an underlying illness or medication. AMITIZA 24 mcg twice daily is also approved to treat constipation caused by opioids, a type of prescription pain medicine, in adults with chronic pain that is not caused by active cancer. The effectiveness of AMITIZA has not been established if you are taking a diphenylheptane opioid (e.g., methadone). AMITIZA 8 mcg capsules twice daily is approved to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C) in women ≥ 18 years of age.
Please click here for complete Prescribing Information.