Amitiza is a medication approved for many uses, such as the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in women. This prescription medication works by helping to stimulate the movement of food through the intestines. Amitiza comes in capsule form and is typically taken twice a day with food and water. Possible side effects of the medicine include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.
What Is Amitiza?Amitiza® (lubiprostone) is a prescription medication licensed for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation in women
- Chronic idiopathic constipation (long-term constipation with no apparent cause)
- Constipation due to opioid pain medications in people with chronic noncancer pain.
Who Makes Amitiza?Brand-name Amitiza is made by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.
How Does It Work?Amitiza works by activating chloride channels in the intestine. This helps stimulate the flow of intestinal fluid, which, in turn, stimulates the movement of food through the intestines.
Clinical Studies on AmitizaStudies have shown that Amitiza works quickly to relieve constipation. In one study for chronic idiopathic constipation, as many as 62.9 percent of people who took the drug had a bowel movement within the first 24 hours, compared to just 31.9 percent of those who took a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). Amitiza also increased the number of bowel movements per week and reduced the symptoms of chronic constipation, such as abdominal discomfort and bloating. Long-term studies have demonstrated that this medication keeps working with continued use (it does not stop working over time).
Studies have also shown that Amitiza can relieve the symptoms of IBS in women. In one study, as many as 13.8 percent of people responded well to the medicine, which means that their symptoms were "significantly relieved" or "moderately relieved," compared to just 7.8 percent of those who took a placebo. Studies have also shown that there was no "rebound" effect (a worsening of symptoms after the medication was stopped). Studies in men have not been large enough to determine if the medication is effective for this condition in men.