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Lubiprostone (Amitiza) for Constipation and IBS-C


Lubiprostone (Amitiza) is a medicine that helps women who have trouble going to the bathroom. It is used to treat constipation that happens for no clear reason, or because of taking pain medication called opioids.

It can also help women with irritable bowel syndrome with predominant symptoms of constipation.

The main ingredient in Amitiza is called lubiprostone. It works by making your intestines full of water, which helps make it easier to go to the bathroom.

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Uses of Lubiprostone (Amitiza)

Amitiza helps make it easier to go to the bathroom by adding more fluid to your intestines. This can help women who have trouble going to the bathroom because of constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome or pain medication called opioids.

Amitiza can be used to treat different kinds of constipation, like the kind that doesn’t have a clear cause or the kind caused by pain medication (opioids and narcotics). It can also help with constipation related to cancer or other disorders caused by pain medication.

When you take Amitiza, it can help you go to the bathroom without having to push so hard or feel like you haven’t finished. It can also relieve symptoms like bloating and stomach discomfort.

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Directions to use Amitiza

Take this medicine as your doctor tells you to, usually two times a day with food and drink. Swallow the pill whole and don’t break or chew it.

The amount of medicine you take will depend on how sick you are and how well the medicine works for you.

To make the medicine work the best, use it every day at the same time. Talk to your doctor often to see if you still need to take it.

If your symptoms don’t get better or you start losing weight, have a fever, or see blood in your poop, talk to your doctor right away.

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Side effects of Lubiprostone (Amitiza):

Lubiprostone is considered a very safe medicine compared to most traditional medicines used to treat constipation. Many people who use this medicine don’t have any big problems. However, some patients may note one or more of the following side effects:

  • Swelling:

Call your doctor right away if you have severe side effects like your arms or legs swelling up or feeling bad in your head or feelings that are different from normal.

  • Vomiting and diarrhea:

This medicine might make you throw up or have diarrhea.

  • Low BP:

If you feel dizzy, faint, or have really bad diarrhea or throwing up, tell your doctor right away. This medicine might make your blood pressure go down and make you faint.

  • Allergic reactions:

Rarely, some people might have a really bad allergic reaction. Call for help right away if you have a rash, itchiness or swelling, trouble breathing, or feel very dizzy.

  • Breathing difficulty:

Sometimes, when you take the first dose of lubiprostone, you might have trouble breathing or feel tightness in your chest.

Usually, this feeling goes away after a few hours. But, if you feel like you’re having trouble breathing or have tightness, pain, or discomfort in your chest, get medical help right away.

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Dosage information of Lubiprostone (Amitiza):

Here are the amounts of Amitiza you should take:

  • If you have irritable bowel syndrome, take 8 micrograms two times each day.
  • If you’re constipated without IBS, take 24 micrograms two times each day.

We don’t know if this medicine works to treat constipation caused by some kinds of pain medicine called diphenyl heptane opioids, like methadone.

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Mechanism of action of Lubiprostone (Amitiza):

Amitiza is a drug that can help people who have chronic constipation. It does this by activating a protein called ClC-2 that is found in the gut.

ClC-2 is responsible for moving chloride and sodium ions in and out of the gut, which helps to produce more fluid in the intestines.

This extra fluid helps to make stools move more easily through the intestines, which can relieve constipation.

Amitiza works by activating ClC-2 channels, which then allow chloride ions to flow out into the intestines.

Sodium ions also flow out, and water follows them. This makes more fluid in the intestines and helps stools move through more easily.

By restoring tight junction proteins in the gut, Amitiza can also help to make the lining of the gut stronger, which may help to prevent future problems.

According to patch clamp cell experiments in human cell lines, the apical (luminal) region of the gastrointestinal epithelium is the sole place where lubiprostone and its metabolites exhibit the majority of their positive biological activity. [ref]

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Some side notes for Lubiprostone (Amitiza):

If you take too much of this medicine, call the emergency or poison help right away.

Follow the instructions from your doctor on what you can eat, drink, or do.

If you forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at once.

Comparison of Prescription-Only Medicines for the Treatment of IBS-C:



Efficacy in IBS-C



LubiprostoneHighModerateGenerally safeIndicated for IBS-C in adult women
LinaclotideHighHighGenerally safeIndicated for IBS-C in adults
EluxadolineHighHighModerate to severe side effectsContraindicated in patients without a gallbladder
AlosetronHighHighRare but severe side effectsIndicated for women with severe IBS-C symptoms
TegaserodLowModerateGenerally safeContraindicated in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease
RifaximinHighLow to moderateGenerally safeIndicated for IBS-D with bloating as the predominant symptom
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Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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