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What should I know about Linzess before taking it?

Before you take Linzess (linaclotide), you should know that it is a drug used to treat adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) -- chronic constipation that has no clear cause. Do not give Linzess to children under age 6.

Linzess increases the frequency of bowel movements, and also decreases the abdominal pain that can occur with irritable bowel syndrome. The most common side effects are diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence and bloating. If you have unusual or severe stomach pain, or if you have red blood in your bowel movements or black, tarry bowel movements, call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

You should not take Linzess if you have a blockage in your bowel. Weigh the pros and cons with your doctor of using Linzess if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Linzess was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012. It's not clear yet whether Linzess interacts with other drugs; to be safe, before you start taking it, tell your doctor about all your other medications (prescription or over-the-counter), as well as any supplements you take. Once you're on Linzess, do not start taking another drug or supplement without talking with your doctor first.

Before you start taking Linzess, you should also give your doctor a complete medical history.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.