Relief may be at hand for some of the 63 million people who suffer from chronic constipation. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug, Linzess (linaclotide), for adults who have constipation for unknown reasons and who don't respond to standard treatment. Linzess is also approved to treat people who have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

It comes in capsule form and is taken at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day. In clinical trials, Linzess was effective in reducing abdominal pain and increasing the number of spontaneous bowel movements. The most common adverse effect reported among clinical trial subjects was diarrhea.

Source: FDA News Release, 8/30/12; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 28 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 28 Jul 2013