Linzess has been studied in people with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and people with chronic idiopathic (unknown cause) constipation. In these studies, Linzess was shown to help relieve symptoms, including abdominal (stomach) pain and incomplete bowel movements.
Linzess for IBS-C
In IBS-C studies, 34.3 to 38.9 percent of people given Linzess had at least a 30 percent reduction in abdominal (stomach) pain for at least 9 out of 12 weeks of treatment. In comparison, only 19.6 to 27.1 percent of those given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient) had the same reduction in abdominal pain.
Researchers also looked at how many people responded to treatment by having at least:
- Three complete bowel movements without the use of laxatives
- One more complete bowel movement (without needing laxatives) a week than they normally had before starting treatment.
Of those given Linzess, 18 percent to 19.5 percent responded by meeting the above criteria for at least 9 out of 12 weeks of treatment. In comparison, only 5 percent to 6.3 percent of those given a placebo met the above criteria.
Linzess for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation
In studies of chronic idiopathic constipation, 15.5 percent to 20.3 percent of people given Linzess had at least 3 complete bowel movements a week and at least 1 more bowel movement a week than they normally had for at least 9 out of 12 weeks. In comparison, 3.3 percent to 5.6 percent of people given a placebo had the same response.
In addition, those given Linzess had a greater improvement, on average, in the number of bowel movements they had a week compared with those given a placebo. People taking Linzess were also less likely to have lumpy or hard stools.
When and How to Take It
Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Linzess include the following:
- Linzess comes in the form of a capsule. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You should take your dose on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day.
- Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules; make sure to swallow them whole.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.