- Linzess is a 14-amino acid peptide that functions as a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist that "acts on the luminal surface of the intestinal epithelium."
- Upon activation of GC-C, an "increase in both intracellular and extracellular concentrations of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)" is observed, which leads to the secretion of chloride and bicarbonate into the intestinal lumen. This results in "increased intestinal fluid and accelerated transit."
- The recommended dose of Linzess is 290 mcg every day daily for IBS patients.
- The drug should be taken on an empty stomach, 30-60 minutes prior to the first meal of the day.
- The capsules need to be swallowed whole.
- According to studies performed by the FDA, linzess decreases the pain in IBS patients by 48.9%.
- The drug also helps patients with their stool frequency, by allowing them to empty their colon 47.6% more frequently.
- The biggest side effects associated with the drug is the explosive diarrhea that is usually followed after taking the pill.
- In some rare cases, the patient might also experience abdominal pain and flatulence.
- Linzess is indicated for adults for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
- Linzess is contraindicated in patients that are younger than 6 because of the risk of dehydration.
- It is also contraindicaterd in patients that have mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction.
- The majority of patients are actually very happy with the dug, noting that it helps them feel relief.
- However, the majority of them have noted that the diarrhea is a big problem, which is what prevents them from taking the drug more often.
Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD