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Understanding IBS-C and CIC

What Is IBS-C?

IBS-C is defined as abdominal pain or discomfort that occurs together with constipation. These symptoms must be long-lasting or keep coming back. People with IBS-C also have hard or lumpy stools at least 25% of the time, and loose or watery stools less than 25% of the time.

While estimates vary, as many as 13 million adults may suffer from IBS-C in the U.S.

A recent survey showed that many IBS-C sufferers may experience multiple symptoms. The hallmark symptoms of IBS-C are abdominal pain or discomfort and constipation, but some patients may also suffer from gas pain, having hard or lumpy stools, and straining when having a bowel movement.

What Causes IBS-C?

The exact cause of IBS-C symptoms is unknown, but researchers believe there may be several factors involved. One reason may be that the nerves in the intestines are extra sensitive, so IBS-C sufferers feel more pain or discomfort around their stomach area than those who do not have this condition.

In addition, the colon may be absorbing too much fluid from the stool, or the muscles in the colon may be moving too slowly. This can cause the stool to become dry, hard, and difficult to pass.

Another cause could be a miscommunication between the brain and the gut. Since the gut is controlled by signals from the brain, disruptions in these signals could cause changes in bowel habits as well as pain or discomfort.

Since people with IBS-C experience it differently, it's important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.

What Is CIC?

Constipation is very common. Almost everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. But if your constipation is long-lasting or keeps coming back, your constipation may be chronic. Chronic Constipation without an identifiable cause is also referred to as Chronic Idiopathic Constipation or CIC. “Idiopathic” means the cause of constipation is unknown.

While estimates vary, as many as 35 million adults may suffer from CIC.

CIC is generally defined as reduced stool frequency, difficulty passing stools, or both. Symptoms must be chronically present.

A recent survey showed that patients with CIC suffer most frequently from constipation symptoms, including having hard or lumpy stools, incomplete evacuation (not completely emptying their bowels), and straining when having a bowel movement. Some patients may also experience symptoms of abdominal discomfort and gas pain. The symptoms of CIC are frequent and bothersome to sufferers.

What Factors Contribute to CIC?

Several factors may contribute to the development of CIC.

One factor of CIC is that the colon may be absorbing too much fluid from the stool. This can result in hard stools that are difficult to pass. In addition, the muscles of the colon may be contracting slowly. When these muscles contract too slowly, it reduces the movement of stool through the colon, causing infrequent stools.

There is evidence to suggest some patients may have diminished sensitivity, which may reduce the urge to have a bowel movement, while others may have extra-sensitive nerves that can cause them to experience discomfort.

Since people with CIC experience it differently, it's important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.

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What is LINZESS?

LINZESS® (linaclotide) is a prescription medication used in adults to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). "Idiopathic" means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children.

IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

  • Do not give LINZESS to children who are under 6 years of age. It may harm them.
  • You should not give LINZESS to children 6 to 17 years of age. It may harm them.
  • Do not take LINZESS if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

Before you take LINZESS, tell your doctor:

  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if LINZESS will harm your unborn baby.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if LINZESS passes into your breast milk.
  • About all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Side Effects

LINZESS can cause serious side effects, including diarrhea, the most common side effect, which can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 2 weeks of LINZESS treatment. Stop taking LINZESS and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea during treatment with LINZESS.

Other common side effects of LINZESS include gas, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, swelling, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (distension). Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

In addition, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you develop unusual or severe stomach-area (abdominal) pain, especially if you also have bright red, bloody stools or black stools that look like tar.

How to Take LINZESS

Take LINZESS exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. Take LINZESS one time each day on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Swallow LINZESS capsules whole. Do not break or chew the capsules.

Storing LINZESS

Store LINZESS at room temperature (68°F to 77°F), and keep LINZESS in the bottle it comes in. Keep the LINZESS bottle tightly closed, in a dry place, and keep the desiccant packet (the drying agent) in the bottle. Keep LINZESS out of the reach of children.

Please also see the Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.

IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

  • Do not give LINZESS to children who are under 6 years of age. It may harm them.
  • You should not give LINZESS to children 6 to 17 years of age. It may harm them.
  • Do not take LINZESS if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

What is LINZESS?

LINZESS® (linaclotide) is a prescription medication used in adults to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). "Idiopathic" means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children.

Before you take LINZESS, tell your doctor:

  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if LINZESS will harm your unborn baby.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if LINZESS passes into your breast milk.
  • About all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Side Effects

LINZESS can cause serious side effects, including diarrhea, the most common side effect, which can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 2 weeks of LINZESS treatment. Stop taking LINZESS and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea during treatment with LINZESS.

Other common side effects of LINZESS include gas, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, swelling, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (distension). Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

In addition, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you develop unusual or severe stomach-area (abdominal) pain, especially if you also have bright red, bloody stools or black stools that look like tar.

How to Take LINZESS

Take LINZESS exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. Take LINZESS one time each day on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Swallow LINZESS capsules whole. Do not break or chew the capsules.

Storing LINZESS

Store LINZESS at room temperature (68°F to 77°F), and keep LINZESS in the bottle it comes in. Keep the LINZESS bottle tightly closed, in a dry place, and keep the desiccant packet (the drying agent) in the bottle. Keep LINZESS out of the reach of children.

Please also see the Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.