Motegrity (prucalopride) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat chronic idiopathic constipation. Motegrity can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include headache and nausea.

Motegrity is used in adults to treat chronic idiopathic constipation. This is constipation that lasts longer than 3 months with no known cause.

Motegrity comes as an oral tablet and contains the active ingredient prucalopride. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Keep reading to learn about common, mild, and serious side effects Motegrity can cause. For a general overview of the drug, including details about its uses, see this article.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Motegrity treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

To learn more about these side effects, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Motegrity, visit MedWatch.

Mild side effects have been reported with Motegrity. These include:

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be easily managed. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bother you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop taking Motegrity unless your doctor recommends it.

Motegrity may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible with Motegrity. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies but has been reported in some people taking the drug after it was approved for use.

Serious side effects have been reported with Motegrity. These include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Motegrity, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* An allergic reaction is possible with Motegrity. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies but has been reported in some people taking the drug after it was approved for use.

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Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Motegrity’s side effects.

Can Motegrity be used for gastroparesis? If so, does taking the drug for this use cause certain side effects?

Motegrity is not approved to treat gastroparesis, a condition in which it takes a long time for your stomach to empty after you eat. Symptoms may include nausea and feeling unusually full after a meal.

However, your doctor may prescribe Motegrity off-label to treat gastroparesis. Off-label use is when a drug is prescribed to treat a condition other than those it’s approved for. In one study, Motegrity’s side effects when used to treat gastroparesis were found to be similar to those seen when the drug is taken for constipation.

If you have questions about Motegrity’s uses and side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Does Motegrity cause side effects such as weight gain or hair loss?

No, weight gain and hair loss weren’t side effects reported in Motegrity studies. If you’re experiencing hair loss or weight gain, there may be other causes, such as other medications you’re taking or other health conditions you have.

Motegrity may cause bloating, so you may have slight changes in your weight due to this side effect.

If you’re experiencing weight gain or hair loss, talk with your doctor. They can determine the cause and provide you with options for managing them.

Learn more about some of the side effects Motegrity may cause.


Headache was a common but mild side effect of Motegrity reported in the drug’s studies. Most people who experienced headache developed it within 2 days of starting treatment.

What might help

Most headaches caused by Motegrity are temporary and go away after a few days. But if your headache is bothersome or ongoing, ask your doctor or pharmacist about ways to manage it. They may suggest an over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Do not take OTC drugs without talking with your doctor or pharmacist first. They can recommend safe treatments for your headache.


Motegrity may cause diarrhea. This was a common side effect reported in the drug’s studies. For most people who reported diarrhea, it was a mild side effect. It usually occurred in the first week of treatment and went away after a few days of taking Motegrity. A few people experienced severe diarrhea.

What might help

If you experience diarrhea with Motegrity, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. For diarrhea that’s severe or doesn’t go away after a few days, talk with your doctor. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration if it’s not managed. This can lead to serious problems.

For severe diarrhea, your doctor may suggest that you stop Motegrity until this side effect goes away. Or they may recommend switching to a different treatment.


Nausea was a common side effect of Motegrity reported in the drug’s studies. This is usually a mild and temporary side effect. Nausea may have other causes and may be related to other side effects of Motegrity, such as headache or dizziness.

What might help

Nausea is a mild side effect of Motegrity that should go away within a few days of starting treatment. But if you have severe, bothersome, or ongoing nausea, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to manage this side effect, such as eating smaller meals and avoiding odors that trigger nausea.

For severe nausea, your doctor may recommend stopping Motegrity and switching to a different medication.

Abdominal pain

Motegrity can cause abdominal pain, tenderness, or discomfort. This was a commonly reported side effect in studies of the drug. There may be other causes of abdominal pain, including inflammation or intestinal disorders or blockages. Abdominal pain may also be caused by your condition if Motegrity doesn’t improve your constipation.

What might help

Abdominal pain is usually a mild side effect of Motegrity that should go away after a few days. But if you have severe abdominal pain, call your doctor right away, as this may be caused by a bowel blockage or other serious problem. Your doctor can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend ways to manage it.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Motegrity can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies, but people taking the drug after it was approved have reported allergic reactions. While it’s not clear whether Motegrity was the cause, these reactions included:

Other symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild to serious and can include:

  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin (usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:

  • an oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • a product you apply to your skin, such as hydrocortisone cream

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Motegrity, they’ll decide whether you should continue taking it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Motegrity, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Motegrity treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking a new drug or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Taking notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Motegrity affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Motegrity may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether this drug is a good treatment option for you. Talk with your doctor about your health history before starting Motegrity. Factors to consider include those described below.

History of depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior. Motegrity may cause suicidal thoughts and behavior. Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or have had suicidal thoughts or behavior. If they determine that Motegrity is safe for you, they’ll monitor you closely during your treatment. If you experience changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior, tell your doctor right away.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Motegrity or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe it for you. Ask them about other medications that might be better options.

Blockage or tear in your stomach or intestinal wall. Motegrity is not safe if you have a tear in your stomach or intestines or if you have a blockage in your bowels. Your doctor will suggest different treatment options that are safer for you.

Severe kidney problems. Motegrity is removed through your kidneys. If you have serious kidney problems, the drug may build up in your body. This could increase your risk of side effects from the drug. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems. They’ll decide whether you should take Motegrity, and in some cases, they may prescribe a lower dosage for you.

Inflammatory conditions of your intestines. Your doctor likely won’t prescribe Motegrity if you have a condition that causes inflammation of your intestines or bowel, such as inflammatory bowel disease. Examples include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Alcohol and Motegrity

There are no known interactions between alcohol and Motegrity. But alcohol may cause dizziness, headache, and nausea. Since Motegrity can also cause these side effects, drinking alcohol could worsen them. If you plan to drink, ask your doctor how much, if any, is safe with this medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Motegrity

There is not enough information available to know whether or not Motegrity is safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Talk with your doctor about treatment options for your chronic idiopathic constipation if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Motegrity passes into breast milk, but its effects on a breastfed child are not known. Your doctor will likely suggest feeding your child another way if you’re taking this medication.

Motegrity can cause side effects ranging from mild to serious. If you have questions about side effects this drug can cause, talk with your doctor. Examples of questions to help get you started include:

  • How do the side effects of Motegrity compare with those of Linzess?
  • Does my dosage of Motegrity affect my risk of side effects?
  • Are there any long-term side effects of Motegrity?

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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 another 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.