Amitiza is approved for treating several different types of constipation. Occasionally, it may be recommended for other, unapproved uses, such as the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in men. This medication is not approved for use in children under the age of 18.
What Is Amitiza Used For?Amitiza® (lubiprostone) is a prescription medication approved for treating:
- Chronic constipation with no known cause
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation
- Constipation due to opioid pain medications in people with chronic noncancer pain.
Chronic Idiopathic Constipation
Chronic constipation is usually defined as constipation that lasts at least six months. Idiopathic means that it is not due to an identifiable cause. Before you are diagnosed with chronic idiopathic constipation, your healthcare provider will make sure your problems are not due to one of the causes of constipation, such as other diseases or medications.
Symptoms of constipation include hard bowel movements that are less frequent. People with the condition sometimes need to strain to produce a bowel movement, and they sometimes feel that the bowel movement was incomplete. Constipation often causes feelings of abdominal pain (stomach pain) and bloating.
When Amitiza is used for chronic idiopathic constipation, it helps provide relief for constipation and the pain and bloating associated with it.
There are three different types of irritable bowel syndrome:
- IBS with constipation
- IBS with diarrhea
- IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhea.
Amitiza is only approved for use in people who have IBS with constipation; it is not intended to be used by people who have the other types of the condition. IBS can be affected by many things, including your diet and stress (see Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or other emotions. In addition to medication, avoiding certain food (see IBS Diet) or stressful situations may help relieve IBS symptoms.
Symptoms of IBS with constipation include abdominal pain (stomach pain) or bloating and changes in bowel movements. With constipation, bowel movements are less frequent and can be hard. These hard bowel movements can cause straining and pain.
Amitiza is only approved for use in women with this condition. It has not been shown to be an effective IBS medication for men. Also, it has not been studied for treating irritable bowel syndrome in children.
Constipation is a common side effect of opioid pain medications such as morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone, among many others. Unlike many other opioid side effects, this one generally does not go away over time, and people generally do not become accustomed to this effect. Many people taking opioids on a regular basis rely on stimulant laxatives to deal with this side effect.
Amitiza is approved to treat constipation due to chronic opioid use in adults with noncancer pain.