Ibsrela (tenapanor)

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

Tenapanor (Ibsrela®) is a new treatment for 11 million adults with irritable bowel syndrom with constipation (IBS-C). It is what is known as a sodium/hydrogen exchanger 3 (NHE3) inhibitor.1-2

How does tenapanor work?

Tenapanor works by blocking the NHE3 transporter in the gastrointestinal tract, which increases sodium in the small intestine and colon. This increases fluid in the gut, which loosens and softens the stool and speeds transit time in the intestines. This helps relieve constipation for people with IBS. Tenapanor also reduces abdominal pain by decreasing gut sensitivity.1

Tenapanor works mainly in the GI tract, reducing the amount of drug absorbed into the bloodstream.2

Possible side effects of tenapanor

In 2 clinical trials with 1,203 adults, the most common side effects were diarrhea, abdominal distension, gas (flatulence), and dizziness. Abdominal distension, gas, and dizziness were similar to those treated with a placebo.1

Severe diarrhea occurred in 2.5 percent of those taking tenapanor and was more common in people with kidney disease. If severe diarrhea happens, stop taking tenapanor and rehydrate. People are advised to stop taking tenapanor if they experience constipation, according to the package insert.1

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

Who should not take tenapanor

Tenapanor should not be taken by people with a known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction.1

It should not be used in children less than 6 years of age and should be avoided in children 6 to 12 years of age due to the risk of serious dehydration. It should also be noted the safety in people younger than 18 has not been determined.1

It is not known if Tenapanor is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women and their babies.2

Additional treatment options for IBS-C

People with IBS often find that they must try a wide variety of treatment options to find the right combination to manage their unique symptoms. In addition to drugs, some of the more common approaches include dietary changes, stress management, probiotics, exercise, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and biofeedback.

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

For more information on tenapanor, read the full prescribing information.

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