Linaclotide | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

linaclotide, Oral capsule

All Brands

  • Linzess
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Highlights for linaclotide

Oral capsule
1

Linaclotide is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It’s also used to treat chronic idiopathic constipation. This is long-lasting constipation with an unknown cause.

2

This drug is available as a capsule you take by mouth.

3

Linaclotide is only available as the brand-name drug Linzess. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug can include diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, and a feeling of fullness in your stomach area.

5

In some cases, linaclotide can cause serious side effects. These include severe diarrhea.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Use in children warning. The safety and effectiveness of this drug hasn’t been established in children. Don’t give this drug to children under 18 years of age. It may harm them.

Severe diarrhea

This drug may cause severe diarrhea. If you have multiple episodes of diarrhea within 24 hours or signs of dehydration, stop taking this drug and call your doctor right away. Symptoms of dehydration include dry lips and skin, dark-colored urine, urinating less than normal, and increased thirst.

What is linaclotide?

Linaclotide is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral capsule.

This drug isn’t available as a generic drug. It only comes as the brand-name drug Linzess.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Linaclotide is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It’s also used to treat chronic idiopathic constipation. This is long-lasting constipation with an unknown cause.

How it works

Linaclotide belongs to a class of drugs called guanylate cyclase-C agonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Linaclotide belongs to a class of drugs called guanylate cyclase-C agonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by making food move faster through your stomach and intestines. This helps prevent constipation. This drug also decreases stomach and intestinal pain.

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linaclotide Side Effects

Oral capsule

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of linaclotide can include:

  • diearrhea

  • gas

  • stomach pain

  • swelling or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your stomach area

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Severe diarrhea. Symptoms can include:

    • multiple cases of diarrhea in 24 hours
    • dehydration. Symptoms can include:
      • thirst
      • urinating less than normal
      • dark-colored urine
      • dry lips and skin
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness. It can cause diarrhea, especially during the first 2 weeks of treatment.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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linaclotide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

You should take linaclotide on an empty stomach. Take it at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Taking this drug with a high fat meal may cause more diarrhea.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
blockage in stomach
People with blockage in their stomach or intestines

You shouldn’t take this drug if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines. This medication can make your condition worse and cause severe pain.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

for children
For children

It isn’t known if this drug passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

call doctor
When to call the doctor

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years. It may harm them.

allergies
Allergies

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

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How to Take linaclotide (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation

Brand: Linzess

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 145 mcg, 290 mcg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Take 290 mcg once per day. Take it on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before you eat your first meal of the day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Warnings

Swallow the capsules whole. Don’t break them apart or chew them.

Chronic idiopathic constipation

Brand: Linzess

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 145 mcg, 290 mcg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Take 145 mcg once per day. Take it on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before you eat your first meal of the day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Warnings

Swallow the capsules whole. Don’t break them apart or chew them.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

You may still have constipation and stomach pain.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • severe diarrhea

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss your dose before breakfast, don’t take it that day. Start taking the drug again the next day before breakfast.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have less constipation and stomach pain.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
take on empty stomach
Take this drug on an empty stomach
timing
Take this drug at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day
storage
Store this drug carefully
See Details
refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
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travel
Travel
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not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep it away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Keep this drug in the bottle that it comes in.
  • This bottle has a small desiccant packet inside of it. This is a little packet that keeps your medication dry and protects it from moisture. Don’t take it out of the bottle.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does linaclotide Cost?

Oral capsule

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Lowest price for linaclotide

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for linaclotide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on January 4, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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