Linaclotide capsules (Constella)

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Take one capsule once daily.

Take the capsule at least half an hour before food.

The most common side-effect is diarrhoea. Let your doctor know if this becomes severe or lasts for longer than a week.

Type of medicineGuanylate cyclase-C receptor agonist
Used forConstipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome in adults
Also calledConstella®
Available asCapsules

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder. Symptoms can be quite variable, and can come and go. Typical symptoms include tummy (abdominal) pain, bloating, and bouts of constipation and/or diarrhoea. Linaclotide can be useful for people who have constipation as one of the main symptoms of IBS. It helps to increase bowel secretions and movement, making stools easier to pass, and it also helps to ease pain and discomfort.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking linaclotide it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you are so constipated that you think you may have a blockage.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. It will give you more information about linaclotide and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take linaclotide exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is taken once daily. You can take your dose at a time of day that suits you, but try to take it at around the same time of day, each day.
  • Swallow the capsule whole with a drink of water. It is best taken on an empty stomach (which means at least 30 minutes before food). This is because taking the capsules with food increases the possibility that diarrhoea will occur.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with linaclotide. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common linaclotide side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water, and make sure that you take the capsules at least 30 minutes before food. If the diarrhoea is severe or continues for more than a week, let your doctor know
Wind, tummy (abdominal) discomfortIf troublesome, speak with your doctor
Feeling dizzyDo not drive or use tools or machines while you feel dizzy

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light. The capsules can absorb moisture from the air so it is important to keep them in their original container (which contains a desiccant to keep them dry). Do not keep the capsules for longer than 18 weeks after the container is first opened.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment what medicines you are taking.

If you buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with your other medicines.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Document ID:
28927 (v1)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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