Linzess (linaclotide) is a new medication for chronic constipation that has a unique mechanism of action. It binds for receptor sites on the cells lining the intestine, causing and increase in secretion of minerals and chemicals from those cells that result in more fluid entering the bowel, and thus enhancing the bowel movement ….making it softer and more frequent.
It appears to have a very low side-effect profile due to the fact that is it not absorbed into the body, but just acts on the surface cells of the intestine.
In addition to improving bowel movement frequency, it is able to reduce pain in patients with have constipation-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Although experience is limited, this is a promising new medication and I have had several patients have good experience so far with this medication. In particular, those people who have chronic constipation and have tried all the various remedies, this offers a new option that is worth considering.