Lubiprostone is used to relieve stomach pain, bloating, and straining and produce softer and more frequent bowel movements in people who have chronic idiopathic constipation (difficult or infrequent passage of stools that lasts for 3 months or longer and is not caused by a disease or a medication). Lubiprostone is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C; a condition that causes stomach pain or cramps, bloating, and infrequent or difficult passage of stools) in women who are at least 18 years of age. Lubiprostone is also used to treat constipation caused by certain opioid (narcotic) pain medications in people with chronic (on-going), noncancer pain. Lubiprostone is in a class of medications called laxatives. It works by increasing the amount of fluid that flows into the bowel and allowing the stool to pass more easily.
Lubiprostone comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food and water twice a day in the morning and evening. Take lubiprostone at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lubiprostone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsule whole; do not open, chew, or crush it. Tell your doctor if you are unable to swallow the capsule.
Lubiprostone may help to relieve your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take lubiprostone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking lubiprostone without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your condition and will tell you when you should stop taking lubiprostone.
Before taking lubiprostone:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lubiprostone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in lubiprostone capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: medications for high blood pressure and methadone (Dolophine, Methadose). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a blockage in your stomach or bowels. If you do not know if you have a blockage in your stomach or bowels, your doctor will examine you to see whether you have this condition. If you have this type of blockage, your doctor will probably tell you not to take lubiprostone.
- tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You will need to have a negative pregnancy test before you begin to take lubiprostone. You must use birth control while taking this medication. Talk to your doctor about the method of birth control that is best for you. If you become pregnant while taking lubiprostone, call your doctor right away.
- tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. If your breastfed child has diarrhea while you are taking lubiprostone, call your doctor.
Lubiprostone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain or bloating
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- chest discomfort
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking lubiprostone and call your doctor immediately:
- severe diarrhea
- shortness of breath or difficulty taking in a breath
- chest tightness
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
- throat tightness
Lubiprostone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).