Sufferers have New Prescription Drug (Amitiza) Treatment
February 1st, 2006
Over the Counter
The FDA approved a new drug called Amitiza (lubiprostone) for adult
idiopathic constipation. This drug is the first of its chemical type that
is being used for this condition. Chronic idiopathic
constipation is a condition where the person has constipation that is not caused
from other diseases or medications.
The infrequent and difficulty in the passage of stool on a regular basis
is a very common problem. Up to 63 million Americans suffer from
chronic idiopathic constipation and this condition is usually found in people over the age
of 65 years. Women suffer more often than men do. Other side
effects of this type of constipation are abdominal pain, feelings of
stomach discomfort, bloating, straining and hard stools.
Amitiza won FDA approval because of the results of two clinical trials
of people that had less than 3 unprompted bowel movements per week. The
constipation problem also had to have been ongoing for 6 months as a
requirement to participate in the Amitiza trials. When the chronic
constipation sufferers took Amitiza they had more bowel movements in the
first week compared to the placebo group. The same results continued
through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week of
taking this medication.
Not only was the Amitiza successful at treating the constipation, it
also decreased the discomfort, and abdominal bloating in long term
studies of 6-12 months in duration as well as improving regularity. The
way that Amitiza works is by making more fluid available in the
intestines to help maintain a normal stool consistency which also allows for
normal transit times.
The side effects reported on the trials were headache, nausea, diarrhea,
abdominal pain, and distension. At this time the FDA and the drug
company do not know if this is directly caused from taking Amitiza.
This medication sounds like it will offer hope to many that suffer from constipation and
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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