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Amitiza

Generic name: lubiprostoneloo-bee-PROS-tone ]
Drug class: Chloride channel activators

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Dec 13, 2021.

What is Amitiza?

Amitiza increases the secretion of fluid in your intestines to help make it easier to pass stools (bowel movements).

Amitiza is used to treat chronic chronic constipation, or constipation caused by opioid (narcotic) pain medicine.

Amitiza may also be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome in women with constipation as the main symptom.

Amitiza is only for use in adults.

Warnings

You should not use Amitiza if you have a blockage in your digestive tract, or if you have severe diarrhea.

Stop taking Amitiza and call your doctor if you feel light-headed every time you take this medicine or if you have severe diarrhea.

A nursing baby could develop diarrhea if the mother takes Amitiza while breast-feeding. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby, and talk with your doctor if the baby develops diarrhea.

You may have tightness in your chest or feel short of breath within 1 hour of taking this medicine. This side effect should go away within 3 hours, but it may occur again when you take your next dose. Talk with your doctor if this side effect becomes bothersome.

Call your doctor at once if you have severe or ongoing nausea or diarrhea.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Amitiza if you have a blockage in your digestive tract, or if you have severe diarrhea.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had liver disease.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are breastfeeding, tell your doctor if you notice diarrhea in the nursing baby.

Amitiza is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take Amitiza?

Amitiza is usually taken twice daily. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Take with food and water.

Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.

You may have tightness in your chest or feel short of breath within 1 hour after taking Amitiza. This side effect should go away within 3 hours, but it may occur again when you take your next dose. Talk with your doctor if this side effect becomes bothersome.

Do not take Amitiza if you have severe diarrhea. Call your doctor for instructions.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis.

Store at room temperature away from heat and light.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Constipation -- Chronic:

24 mcg orally 2 times a day

Comments: The effectiveness of this drug in the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in patients taking diphenylheptane opioids (e.g., methadone) has not been established.

Use: Treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation and of opioid-induced constipation in adults with chronic non-cancer pain.

Usual Adult Dose for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

8 mcg orally 2 times a day

Use: Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in women age 18 years and older.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Amitiza?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Amitiza side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Amitiza: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe or ongoing nausea or diarrhea;

  • trouble breathing; or

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.

You may have low blood pressure and feel faint shortly after taking this medicine, especially if you've been sick with vomiting or diarrhea. Stop taking Amitiza and call your doctor if you feel light-headed after every dose or if you have severe diarrhea.

Common Amitiza side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Amitiza?

Make sure your doctor knows if you are using an opioid pain medicine.

Other drugs may interact with lubiprostone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Where can I get more information?

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Amitiza only for the indication prescribed.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.