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 medicine||Guanylate cyclase-C receptor agonist|
|Used for||Constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome in adults|
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.
Before taking linaclotide
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, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take linaclotide
- 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.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- A healthy diet containing fibre (wholegrain breads and cereals, bran, fruit and green leafy vegetables) with several glasses of water each day and daily exercise are important in maintaining healthy bowel function. For people who have problems with constipation, foods such as pastries, puddings, sugar, sweets, cheese and cake can make matters worse and are best avoided.
Can linaclotide cause problems?
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-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Diarrhoea||Drink 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) discomfort||If troublesome, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling dizzy||Do not drive and do not use tools or machines while you feel dizzy|
If you notice any bleeding from your back passage whilst taking linaclotide, let your doctor know. This could be due to piles (haemorrhoids) caused by your constipation or due to the treatment itself.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store linaclotide
- 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.
Important information about all medicines
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 and references
Manufacturer's PIL, Constella® 290 micrograms hard capsules; Allergan Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2016.
British National Formulary 73rd Edition (Mar 2017); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.