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A woman stirs fiber or laxatives into a cup of water. A woman stirs fiber or laxatives into a cup of water.

OTC AND PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS

What exactly is fiber? Is a prescription just a really strong laxative? Should I really be taking these every day? Some people spend years dealing with constipation and belly pain, juggling multiple OTCs, without really knowing how they work.

Here’s a closer look at how some of the most common OTCs work, and a look at prescription treatment LINZESS.

Common OTCs & How They Work

An illustration of a jar of Fiber Supplement.An illustration of a jar of Fiber Supplement.An illustration of a jar of Fiber Supplement.

FIBER

Fiber pulls fluid into the intestine, bulking up stool and making it easier to pass. It can take a couple of days to begin working.

An illustration of a jar of Stimulant Laxatives.An illustration of a jar of Stimulant Laxatives.An illustration of a jar of Stimulant Laxatives.

STIMULANT LAXATIVES

These stimulate muscles in the intestine to keep stool moving. They’re good for quick but temporary relief and shouldn’t be taken regularly.

An illustration of a jar of Stool Softener. An illustration of a jar of Stool Softener. An illustration of a jar of Stool Softener.

STOOL SOFTENERS

These draw water into the intestine to soften stool. They can take a few days to work, but be sure to take these with plenty of water.

Prescription bottle of LINZESS (linaclotide).Prescription bottle of LINZESS (linaclotide).Prescription bottle of LINZESS (linaclotide).

The LINZESS Difference

  • LINZESS isn’t a laxative. It works proactively to manage constipation and overall abdominal symptoms* (pain, discomfort, and bloating).
  • It acts locally in the intestine and is thought to work by calming pain-sensing nerves** and accelerating bowel movements.
  • When taken daily, relief is typically felt in about 1 week.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

HOW LINZESS CAN HELP

*Abdominal symptoms were studied in combination, not individually.
**This was seen in animal studies, and the relevance to humans is not known.

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IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

  • Do not give LINZESS to children who are less than 2 years of age. It may harm them. LINZESS can cause severe diarrhea and your child could get severe dehydration (loss of a large amount of body water and salt).
  • Do not take LINZESS if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

Before you take LINZESS, tell your doctor about your medical conditions, including if you are:

  • Pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if LINZESS will harm your unborn baby.
  • Breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You and your doctor should decide if you will take LINZESS and breastfeed.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Side Effects

LINZESS can cause serious side effects, including diarrhea, which is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 2 weeks of LINZESS treatment. Stop taking LINZESS and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea during treatment with LINZESS.

Other common side effects of LINZESS include gas, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, swelling, or a feeling of fullness or pressure in your abdomen (distension). Call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you develop unusual or severe stomach-area (abdominal) pain, especially if you also have bright red, bloody stools or black stools that look like tar.

These are not all the possible side effects of LINZESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

USES

LINZESS® (linaclotide) is a prescription medication used in adults to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS‑C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). "Idiopathic" means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if LINZESS is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie and Ironwood may be able to help. Visit AbbVie.com/myAbbVieAssist to learn more.

Please see full Prescribing Informationopen pdf in new tab including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide.open pdf in new tab

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IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

  • Do not give LINZESS to children who are less than 2 years of age. It may harm them. LINZESS can cause severe diarrhea and your child could get severe dehydration (loss of a large amount of body water and salt).