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Understanding IBS-C and CIC

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)?

IBS-C is defined as belly pain (abdominal pain) or discomfort associated with constipation. The symptoms of IBS-C are long-lasting and keep coming back. Those suffering from 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 IN THE US MAY SUFFER FROM IBS-C.

What Causes IBS-C?

  • Sensitive nerves: The nerves in the intestines may be extra-sensitive, causing sufferers to feel more belly pain or discomfort than those who do not have IBS-C.
  • Fluid absorption: 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.
  • Brain-bowel connection: There could be miscommunication between the brain and the bowel (gut), which may cause belly pain, discomfort, and a change in bowel movements.

It is important to talk about all of your symptoms with your doctor.

IBS-C Symptom Checklist

IBS-C Symptom Checklist
  • Belly pain
  • Constipation
  • Infrequent and incomplete bowel movements

What Is Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)?

Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in their lives. But if your constipation is long-lasting or keeps coming back, it may be chronic. Chronic constipation without an identifiable cause is often referred to as chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). "Idiopathic" means the cause is unknown.

CIC is generally defined as infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stools, or both.

A recent survey showed that patients with CIC reported most frequently:
  • Constipation symptoms
  • Hard or lumpy stools
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Incomplete bowel movements
CIC patients may also suffer from:
  • Stomach cramping
  • Gas pain
  • Bloating

While estimates vary, as many as 35 MILLION ADULTS IN THE US MAY SUFFER FROM CIC.

What Factors May Contribute to CIC?

  • Fluid absorption: The colon may be absorbing too much fluid from the stool. This can result in the formation of hard stools that are difficult to pass.
  • Muscle contractions: The muscles of the colon may be contracting too slowly, which can reduce the movement of stool through the colon and cause infrequent stools.
  • Decreased urge: Some patients may have less sensitivity, which may reduce the urge to have a bowel movement. Other patients may have extra-sensitive nerves, which can cause discomfort.

It is important to talk about all of your symptoms with your doctor.

CIC Symptom Checklist
  • Constipation
  • Hard stools
  • Infrequent and incomplete bowel movements

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. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

Storing LINZESS

Store LINZESS at room temperature (68°F to 77°F). It is important to 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.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please also see Medication Guide within full Prescribing Information.

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WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

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. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

Storing LINZESS

Store LINZESS at room temperature (68°F to 77°F). It is important to 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.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please also see Medication Guide within full Prescribing Information.

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