Amitiza (lubiprostone)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: March 2023

Amitiza (lubiprostone) is a prescription medicine approved to treat IBS-C in women 18 years of age and older. Amitiza has been proven to help address the overall symptoms of IBS-C. These include abdominal discomfort, abdominal pain, bowel habits, and other IBS symptoms.1

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Amitiza in 2008. It was the first prescription drug therapy for IBS-C.2

What are the ingredients in Amitiza?

The active ingredient in Amitiza is lubiprostone.1

How does Amitiza work?

Different than fiber or laxatives, Amitiza is called a CIC-2 chloride channel activator. Doctors do not fully understand how Amitiza works to treat IBS-C. However, they know it works locally in the intestinal tract to promote fluid secretion by targeting the chloride channels. The increased fluid in the intestines increases motility, which helps move stool through and improves constipation.1

What are the possible side effects of Amitiza?

Common side effects of Amitiza include:1

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Other rare side effects may include:1

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Fainting
  • Swelling of hands and feet (peripheral edema)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart palpitations

These are not all the possible side effects of Amitiza. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Amitiza.

Things to know about Amitiza

People who have a known or suspected blockage in their bowel or severe diarrhea should not take Amitiza.1

People who are allergic to Amitiza or any of its ingredients, including lubiprostone, should not take Amitiza.1

Before beginning treatment for IBS, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Amitiza.

Additional treatment options for IBS

Because each person is different, not all people respond the same to each treatment. There are a number of treatment options for IBS, and most people find a combination of approaches work best for managing their symptoms. Along with medicines, other treatment methods include diet changes, probiotics, stress management, exercise, and alternative therapies.

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