Amitiza (lubiprostone) is a treatment for chronic idiopathic constipation and constipation-predominant IBS. Idiopathic constipation just means that a particular cause for the constipation has not been found. Chronic constipation means that it persists for a long period of time and doesn't respond to other treatments, as opposed to acute constipation which may come on suddenly and can be relatively easily treated. Amitiza works by increasing fluid secretion and motility in the intestines, making bowel movements easier and quicker to pass. Amitiza comes in capsule form and is taken orally.
Amitiza side effects
The common side effects of Amitiza are nausea, diarrhea, gas, vomiting, dry mouth, runny nose, cough, fever, headache, dizziness, joint or back pain and difficulty sleeping.
How successful is Amitiza in clinical trials?
In a study published in 2008, 242 patients with chronic constipation were randomized to either receive a placebo or 24mcg of Amitiza daily for four weeks. The 120 patients who were taking the Amitiza reported 5.69 spontaneous bowel movements after one week of treatment, compared to 3.46 bowel movements for the placebo group. The Amitiza group also reported improvements in stool consistency and less straining.
Conclusion: The researchers found that Amitiza produced a bowel movement for most people within 24 to 48 hours of the first dose. The most common side effect seen was mild or moderate nausea. Pubmed article: Johanson JF, Morton D, Geenen J, Ueno R
REVIEWS OF AMITIZA
Review by Ray
I never noticed any intestinal problems until about a year and a half ago when I started a new job and moved into a new apartment. Since that time I developed IBS-C. I had gone to my doctor several times but you know how it goes: 'Drink more water, get more fiber' (I'm a very healthy eater, but I have been supplementing with Fibercon).
Finally my doctor started me on Amitiza, which I've been on for two weeks. It's helped with all the associated symptoms (nausea, bloating, mood) and slightly with the constipation itself. However, since starting it I have developed what may be a hernia or some kind of severe pain at the tip of my tailbone. I was going to stop taking Amitiza but my pharmacist said back pain isn't one of the listed side effects.
I talked to my doctor and she seemed to think it was just coincidence that I developed this pain/hernia at the same time (my pharmacist also suggested that whatever is causing the pain was already there but the Amitiza is aggravating it; I've never ever experienced anything like this before). This morning it didn't hurt as bad, until I took my Amitiza.
I don't know what to do, but at 29 I shouldn't be shuffling around like a 90 year-old, unable to get in or out of a car, all for the possibility of maybe having a BM. Or not. I haven't had a colonoscopy yet but I'm going to insist on it now. And I'm going to stop taking Amitiza for a few days to see if it helps.
Review by Kim
I am now 48 and I was diagnosed with IBS in November 2008. I had every test you could imagine. I took Zelnorm which worked but had lots of side effects, and then it was taken off the market. I was recently hospitalized for a partial bowel obstruction and was given Amitiza. There are some side effects but it keeps me out of the hospital and I don't have to spend most of my life in the bathroom when I have the opposite happening.
I find that I have to change dosage though with Amitiza. I keep on hand 8mg and 24mg doses and adjust accordingly. My doctor is happy with the results and the patient support the Amitiza manufacturers provide online. So for me I am happy with the results.
Review by Steve
I was on Amitiza for a few weeks. The first two weeks I thought it was gonna be a wonder drug for me. However, after a good two weeks it eventually stopped doing anything and then came the side effects. I was getting sick to my stomach every day, the meds stopped producing any results and then, as I saw written about in other postings on here, I got the very odd eye twitching, plus some other muscle twitches too. Well, I've been off it for two weeks now and I still have the eye twitching.
Review by Anne
I was diagnosed with IBS in my 20s and I am now 45. Nothing I was ever given ever worked. I have had every test under the sun: colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, x-rays, CTs, MRIs, and I always ended up frustrated because there was never a definitive diagnosis other than the vague IBS with constipation. I am a registered nurse and I read about Amitiza on my own and asked my physician about it. I have been taking it for about three weeks (8mcg twice a day) and I have relief for the first time in years with zero side effects. I could not be happier!
Review by Dave
I was taking Zelnorm for IBS and it worked perfectly for me. Then they withdrew Zelnorm and I nearly cried. I was told the substitute is Amitiza. To me Amitiza is the sledgehammer approach. Yes it works for me, but the runs and the bloating and the cramps knock me for a loop. I have to take dicyclomine to try to reduce the cramping. The rest of the day after I take Amitiza is not a pleasant experience. I am not looking forward to the rest of my life under these conditions.
Review by Lennie
I have been diagnosed with chronic IBS-C. I have gone nearly three weeks without a bowel movement. That's when I realized I needed serious help and needed to take this seriously. I started seeing a gastroenterologist and had numerous tests and medicines. Nothing worked. The pain and discomfort was becoming quite unbearable.
But I have been taking Amitiza 24mcg for about two weeks, and I had a bowel movement nearly an hour after taking the first tablet. For the first few days I did have extreme nausea, gas, dry mouth, headache and dizziness. The nausea and headaches made me want to stop using this product, but I promised myself I would give it at least two weeks, and I have had at least two bowel movements every day since taking Amitiza and the symptoms have decreased. My little tip: suck on a few Halls or peppermints after you take Amitiza, it will lessen the nausea tremendously.
Review by Scott
I've been on Amitiza for 30-plus days now and the only thing that's happened is a variety of side effects. First some slight left-hand numbness (like I slept on it) which passed, then headaches and slight nausea following every dose. My doctor had me try Miralax twice a day instead of once and within three days I'm not 100% but I'm doing much better and gaining ground each day.
Review by Jill
This medicine has been a miracle for me! After a year of being unable to eat, playing the food guessing game, and being miserable with bloating and abdominal pain, I am pain-free and can eat again. I have experienced virtually no side effects.
Review by Julia
I am 27 and I have been living with IBS-C for three years now. It has been terrible. I am in pain every day. I have tried Bentyl, Miralax, increased my water intake, cut out caffeine and fried foods, eaten more fruit and veggies and tried working out four times a week, and all of this hasn't worked at all. I took Amitiza for the first time yesterday and again today. I agree with most of the posts on here. It definitely produces the bowel movement, but I feel dizzy, have hot flashes, and the nausea is ridiculous. This cannot be the only answer for us IBS-C sufferers! How can I work feeling like this? How can I drive my children feeling like this? IBS is literally ruining my life. There has to be something better than this.
Review by Cristin
I am 29 and I have struggled with constipation for as long as I can remember. About five years ago I finally faced my fears and had a colonoscopy to figure out my issues. I was diagnosed with IBS and a slow-moving colon. I followed a strict diet, heavy in fiber intake, and took Miralax daily in my coffee. This worked for the five years, but began to have less of an effect.
I went back to my doctor and was put on Amitiza 8mcg. It did not work. The dosage was increased to 24mcg soon after. At first I experienced horrible nausea, flu-like symptoms, body aches and terrible, embarrassing gas. The doctor asked that I continue to take Amitiza for one month. After two weeks, all my symptoms stopped. I have regular, healthy bowel movements, usually once a day. I feel great and couldn't be happier. I still follow a high-fiber diet and drink a lot of water. I'm sure this helps.
Review by Anne Marie
I absolutely love this medicine. My concern is that I can no longer afford it. It is very costly, but it's seriously the only medicine that has worked for me in 30 years. I take two 24mcg tablets in the evening and one in the morning. The only negative side effect I have is a metal taste in my mouth which I prefer to constipation!
Review by K
I have been taking Amitiza for almost a year now for management of IBS-C. I had used Zelnorm in the past with good results (if explosive diarrhea is good - which for me was better than nothing) and was disappointed to see it pulled. I was put on Amitiza instead and have had great results. No nausea, although I do have frequent headaches which I attribute to allergies and sinus problems from which I've suffered for most of my 34 years.
To those of you who say that Amitiza does not work, you could increase your fluid intake and give it a couple of days. I have found that by avoiding caffeine (which can dry out the GI tract) as much as possible and drinking at least two liters of water a day I have wonderful results with Amitiza. It makes sense: if the point of Amitiza is to send more water to the bowel to soften the stool, give your body the water it needs so the medication can do its job.
Review by Heather
I was diagnosed with IBS in my teens and I am now in my early 30s. I started taking 8mcgs of Amitiza twice a day about six weeks ago. It worked great at first, but I would still go several days without a movement. Then when I did go it was very painful and uncomfortable. My doctor increased my dose to 24mcgs twice a day.
I have been taking that for about four weeks and I have gained 10 or more pounds. I am incredibly bloated, feel hopelessly depressed, and have no motivation. On two days this week I spent my lunch hour napping in my car. I have never done that until I started taking this medicine! I feel nauseous if I don't take it with lots of food and sometimes I get horrible headaches after I take it. I've never felt more hopeless or miserable...it's not even helping my constipation!
Review by Michele
I have had trouble with constipation for over 10 years now. It really came on after I gave birth to my only child. I saw a gastroenterologist and they said I had IBS. At first, right after giving birth, I suffered from horrible pains and diarrhea all the time. Anything I ate went right through me with horrible cramps and pains. I felt horrible because for the first couple of months my newborn son and I lived in the bathroom. He spent half his time in his carrier car seat on the bathroom floor.
I went to my doctor time and time again to find out what had happened and why I had diarrhea all the time. The doctor said I had IBS but didn't give me anything at first. It was try different things and see if it worked. I was even put on compazine for the nausea. After a year of feeling horrible, we found out what it was. Right after giving birth I decided to try the depo provera shots for birth control but after almost a year decided to quit because it was expensive. Well a little bit after quitting I started to feel great. No more nausea, no more diarrhea, no more nothing for a while.
I called the doctor and asked if that could have been what was making me sick and she said yes. I felt good for a while but then instead of diarrhea it turned to constipation. I went back to the gastro doctor after months of suffering again and he told me that I had IBS with constipation. He gave me Zelnorm to try and it was the greatest thing I have ever taken in my life! I felt great and for the first time I could do more things with my son. I had no side effects whatsoever from Zelnorm either.
I had a great life until the day they recalled Zelnorm. From there my life went back down the tubes slowly. I called my doctor and asked him what I should take now and he told me to just take stool softeners every day. They worked for a while but after a couple years they seemed not to work as much. The doctor told me to add more fiber which I did with no results. I had to pretty much just live with the suffering.
Then came the day a month or so ago that I finally saw an advertisement for Amitiza. I thought 'great, maybe it will save me'. I talked to my regular doctor and she gave me a bunch of samples. I took the 8mcg at first and was just a bit nauseated but it only lasted a day or two. But after a week it seemed it wasn't helping much so the doc gave me the 24mcg to take. The first day I was horribly nauseated. I thought I was going to vomit. My stomach hurt badly and I had one of the worst headaches in a long time. I started getting pain in my chest and had really bad shortness of breath.
I called the doctor because of how sick I was and she said to keep taking it, and that it usually stops after a week to two weeks. I tried to hold out but I couldn't. I don't want to be that sick. I am tired from my thyroid and I just became diabetic. I felt horrible when I took Amitiza, I couldn't get out of bed. Any little movement on the bed made me feel even more sick and horrible.
I don't see how they took Zelnorm off the market but we still have Amitiza, when from what I am reading it makes almost everyone sick. I don't see hardly anyone who has an easy time with it. I can't live being nauseated and having a bad headache. I home school my son plus I work with the humane officers in my area. I am in training to become one myself. I really don't have time to be sick. I really wish they would bring Zelnorm back so I once again can have my life back. I think I would take a risk of heart stuff just to be able to live again. I think the FDA really needs to hear all the people who were helped by Zelnorm and how sick Amitiza is making everyone.
Review by Stacy
I have suffered with constipation-predominant IBS for years. Zelnorm was my saving grace. It made me feel like a normal person. I was devastated when they took it off of the market. Every time I take Amitiza I feel terrible for about half an hour afterwards. I have severe nausea and light-headedness. It doesn't matter if I have an empty stomach, a full stomach, or take it in the middle of a meal - whatever, the side effects are bad. It is horrible! Because I cannot find anything else to help with my problem I have chosen to continue to take it. Take it or not take it - both have an equally bad result.
Review by Tawanda
I have been dealing with IBS for four years now. I have tried fiber and it helps me to have a bowel movement. I only take it when I have food on my stomach. Some days nausea takes over and I can't eat without throwing up. This is my first time trying a medication for this issue. The medication is Amitiza and it's killing me. After taking it for two weeks I have severe nausea, chest pain, pain in my throat, headaches, a bad cough, abdominal pain, and I have even vomited a couple of times. I can't sleep at night due to the nausea. The only thing that this medication has helped me with is my constipation and diarrhea. I agree with some of the other comments that the side effects aren't worth it.
Review by Wendy
I was diagnosed with IBS with severe bloating and constipation. I have been using Amitiza for a few months now. The results are phenomenal! No more painful bloating, very little constipation. I take 24mg twice a day, usually without food, just with my morning and evening meds. I have suffered no side effects whatsoever. This medicine has changed my life! I cannot do without it!
Review by Michele
I have been taking Amitiza for three days now and I have experienced diarrhea and mild cramping. To me, just to be able to go to the bathroom is bliss. I have gone for at least a month with no movement so the discomfort is worth the side effects for now. Not going caused severe pain so this is a walk in the park.
Review by Pamela
I took Miralax with one cup of water and Zelnorm 6mg 30 minutes before a meal...and it worked for seven years. Now that Zelnorm is off the market, Miralax alone causes anything but a bowel movement. My doctor gave me Amitiza 8mg to take once a day with food. It doesn't work overall, and the side effects are not worth it. If 8mg gives me headaches and moodiness, with flu-like symptoms, I can only imagine what up to 24mg would do. I'm not sure what to do next - I'm going on a strike to get Zelnorm back!
Review by Betsy
I used to take Zelnorm which worked great. Then it got withdrawn. I went to my doctor who gave me some Amitiza samples to try. He told me about the nausea side effect but nothing else. I waited my IBS out and had mostly good days, which makes me think the Zelnorm must have reset my system.
Then it starts creeping back, the bloating, pressure, pain etc. So I take one Amitiza with my breakfast to go ahead and start trying it. The effects were frightening! An hour later I felt light-headed, horribly nauseated and I realized my chest hurt when I took deep breaths. I felt like I had either flu or pneumonia coming on! I had to go lay down and hope and wait for it to work its way out of my system.
I do not have the time in my life to ever try that stuff again. I did immediately have a good bowel movement (no diarrhea) but to waste three hours feeling like crap is not worth it. Time to beg for Zelnorm to come back.
Review by Julie
I'm 46 and I have had IBS for 20 years with extreme constipation. I started taking Amitiza a year ago since nothing else worked for my IBS-C, not even Zelnorm. I have never had any of the side effects mentioned on this site. I also take Miralax with it when needed. Amitiza is the only drug that has worked for me and I hope it stays on the market.
Review by Renee
The side effects of this drug are killing me. Coughing, chest pain, nausea, headaches with sensitivity to light, a zombie-like depression coming out of nowhere, and bloating. It gets rid of my constipation perfectly, but the side effects are not worth it at all. I'm going back to Miralax.
Review by Bruce
I am 39, and I was diagnosed with IBS-C last year. I had seen my doctor after my bowel movements decreased to maybe two per week if I was lucky. I felt bloated and uncomfortable. After a long time (approximately two years) of trying everything from more fiber, more water, to laxatives in order to get that ever evasive bowel movement, my doctor put me on Zelnorm, which worked for a while, but its effects dwindled in time. It was better than nothing, but it was pulled off the market, due to its side effects.
She then placed me on the Amitiza, at which point a miracle happened. I had bowel movements sometimes three times a day. Within six hours of my first sample dose, I had a bowel movement. Best of all, I do not experience any nausea like some people do. That depends on whether I take it with food or not. The only complaints that I have are that it is not cheap, and if I take the second dose too late in the evening it makes me gassy, and does the opposite of what it is supposed to do. Overall, I am happy with Amitiza. Hopefully it will get cheaper, and more importantly, stay on the market.
Review by Nicole
I tried Amitiza even though my doc said it was only for constipation (not IBS with constipation). I've been on it for about three months. It worked the first day, but I had nausea at first, and I wasn't really eating with it. Even though I kept forgetting to take it with meals, my doc said to stay on it because the nausea goes away in a about a week. I think it was more like nine days, but it did go away. I also don't get any of the bloating I used to get when I took Miralax.
Review by Dee
I too was on Zelnorm for a couple of years with no problems, and it was my miracle drug. I was heartbroken when it was pulled off the market. Amitiza has been a great disappointment. I haven't had the diarrhea horror stories, thank God. But all it does for me is give me horrible cramps and colon spasms, and I am cranky and sick to my stomach.
So I guess I will beg for Zelnorm if it's still available at all or use over-the-counter measures which only work when they feel like it. Because I am certainly not going to pay big money for something that makes me feel that way. I can take nothing for free!
Review by Rachel
I'm only 18 but I have never had regular bowel movements. I was getting rather annoyed and finally saw a doctor about it. He informed me I had IBS and prescribed Miralax. It didn't work. A month later I had a follow-up appointment and he prescribed Amitiza. He said it had no side effects, except nausea in rare cases. I was glad, because the Miralax made me sick.
Well, the Amitiza does work but it messes with my mood. I thought it was all in my head but then I read something telling me to inform my doctor immediately if it affected my mood. I then read further into the subject and saw I'm not alone with this. Almost every time I take it I feel sad or lonely.
Also, you know how sometimes when you're swimming and you go under and kind of swallow water and it feels like you have water in your lungs? It sort of feels like that within the hour of taking it. I occasionally get a headache or nauseated, but I think the fact that I'm actually having regular bowel movements outweighs the side effects. It really does help me and I'm glad I was prescribed it.
Review by Justine
I have been diagnosed with IBS for the past 10 to 15 years, and I have yet to find a medicine that has worked for me. Until recently constipation was never a problem for me, I often went too frequently. The past few months have been unbearable with weight gain, bloating, gas, and straining to make a bowel movement.
My doctor tried me on various fiber supplements with no help. I tried Amitiza, one pill on Saturday. That night I had a bowel movement, accompanied by a lot of gas, but at least I had one. On Sunday I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck. Nausea, tired, aching all over. I started to feel better by midday so I took Amitiza again with a full meal. A few hours later I was experiencing full blown flu-like symptoms...headache, nausea, fever etc.
Monday came and again I felt sick. I didn't take another pill and I was starting to feel better. Out of nowhere at around 6pm I had a 101 fever and was in the worst flu-like experience I've ever gone through. Not to mention tons of awful, disgusting smelling gas, but no bowel movement! It is now Tuesday and I still feel awful. Light-headed, gassy, just a mess. I hate this drug.
Review by Kathy
I was prescribed Amitiza by my doctor after Miralax
alone was not working for constipation. I didn't notice much difference but I started having sinus/ear pain and gradually my muscles started aching to the point that I couldn't do anything, and the dizziness got so bad that I couldn't walk or drive. After reading that the drug could cause dizziness I gave up taking it, and then I also read that it has not been tested by patients with renal impairment. I only have one kidney with 57% function yet my doctor failed to inform me of this.
Review by Marlo
I have been battling IBS-C for the past seven years or so. I took Zelnorm and loved it, no side effects. I started taking Amitiza samples a week ago. I have severe nausea, even when taking the tablets with food. Severe headaches. No change in BMs. In general I feel horrible, like I have the flu...aching all over. It has been miserable. I also have been meaner than usual to my husband for no reason (don't laugh). It's sad to say, but I'd rather be constipated than have all these side effects.
I think I am going to start on a routine of Miralax and see how that goes. I am hoping that Zelnorm will make its way back on the market. I'm glad for those who have success with Amitiza but I didn't and frankly the side effects really scared me, it's not worth it. I can't function and be productive with the way it makes me feel.
Review by Megan
I'm 27, and I was diagnosed with IBS about five years ago. I was on Zelnorm until it stopped working within a few weeks. I have been on Amitiza for one week now with no positive results. I too have woken up in a puddle of poop, as well as pooped my pants (thankfully I was at home)...and I didn't see either of them coming (no gas, cramps or anything). What is worse is the tight chest pain when I breathe in, and the rapid, scary heartbeat.
I called my doctor, and he said 'Well, it's only been a week'. He wants me to stay on it until my colonoscopy which is in a month. I don't understand how this drug was approved, while Zelnorm was pulled. I will stay on it a few more days and see what happens. I'm a teacher, and I just pray that I don't have an accident during one of my classes!
Review by Lolita
I have been battling IBS-C for 23 years now, and I have tried every laxative on the market, along with herbs and supplements. I used to take Zelnorm, which worked for a couple of weeks and then stopped.
I was recently given some Amitiza samples to try, which I did last night. I experienced nausea and dizziness even though I took it with food (though not a heavy meal). I experienced a 'flash flood' along with cramping, but I was pleased when I awoke this morning with a much flatter stomach. The jury is still our on this one but I will try another pill later this evening and see how it goes.
PS: My physician said that gastroenterologists can still prescribe Zelnorm in extreme cases, so that will be my next move if the Amitiza does not pan out.
Review by Jackie
I have had IBS for 15 years. I have taken prune juice and laxatives for years, and I just added yogurt to ease my problems. I finally went to the GI and he prescribed Amitiza for me.
I had a severe headache, nausea, a sharp pain in my head, shortness of breath, tight chest pain, a spinning, foggy head and a slow reaction time to emergencies. I stopped taking it four months ago and I still have a sharp pain in my head. I will never take it again.
Review by Tricia
I have suffered from IBS-C for several years. All treatments have failed for me. My doctor was excited about Amitiza and gave me samples to try. A short while after the first dose I felt nauseous, tired, and had throat pain. I tried to convince myself it would go away and continued to take the drug for three more days. After day two I had sinus pain with a headache and a very sore throat. On day three I developed chest pain along with the sore throat and I also developed a cough. I never had any IBS-C relief while taking this drug.
I have been Amitiza-free for two days now and the sore throat is gone, but the chest tightness has increased and so has the cough. I plan to call the doctor today to see if this will all go away since I have stopped taking the Amitiza.
Review by Lori
I've had IBS for over 15 years and I have tried everything known to man to try to alleviate the bloating, cramping, etc...so I was very excited when my extremely wonderful doctor gave me samples of Amitiza, saying it had no side effects. I know I'm only on day three but I noticed the diarrhea and the fatigue almost immediately. So sad. I thought maybe there would finally be some relief for me. Oh well. Onward and upward!
Review by Stephanie
I have been taking Amitiza for about four months now. It has truly been a lifesaver. I have to admit that I did spend the first month adjusting to the medication, and it did cause me to have severe headaches and nausea. However, these symptoms have subsided. I make sure I eat a meal each time I take a pill to avoid an upset stomach. I have lost 14 pounds and rarely have tummy pain. I used to live on Loritab for pain control. My life has truly been blessed by this medicine!
Review by Denise
My doctor gave me some samples of Amitiza. She also gave me a prescription and some discount coupons with a warning that it is not covered by my insurance and will be very expensive. I'm grateful for the samples but I didn't notice any changes in symptoms. I'm still bloated. I took Amitiza for about a week or so. I wonder if I should have taken it for a longer period. But I hate to shell out all that money only to find out it still doesn't help.
Review by Ellen
I've been taking this drug for about two months. For me it is a miracle drug. I've had some problems with nausea, but the good far exceeds the bad. I did not have a BM without laxatives for many years. Now I take none. I am careful about eating at the same time as I take the pill. I take two a day and I'm so pleased. I told my doc I want a lifetime supply! It's expensive but worth it to me, because I was spending money on laxatives.
Review by MS
I am on day eight of Amitiza, the end of my samples and the start of my prescription. I called my doctor's office today to report the side effects (fatigue, nausea, etc - many mentioned on this site). I have also noticed that taking deep breaths feels like I am breathing in cold air. I ran a fever last night and I feel so ill that I am working from home today.
I asked the nurse if I should cut back on the dosage (from two pills to one pill per day) and she said that would be a good place to start. If I am still having side effects in two weeks she said they would look for another med to try and get me in to see a GI.
I have suffered IBS symptoms all my life but I was only recently diagnosed. The relief of not having bloating is wonderful but I'm not sure I can function feeling tired and sick. I notice too that I am not hungry and almost have to make myself eat. I am thrilled to be having BMs and I would love to lose a little weight simply by being regular. I guess it's like that old saying, only time will tell if this is the right drug for me. Good luck to all of you fellow sufferers.
Review by Monica
I started taking Amitiza yesterday and last night I found it very difficult to breathe. In fact, my husband was ready to take me to the hospital because my chest felt heavy and tightened. I felt bad too, like I had a virus or something. After reading the side effects for this drug, I realize it may be related. My doctor advised me to take it twice a day - however, I think I may try taking it only once and see how that works.
Review by JC
Zelnorm was the worst drug I'd ever taken, causing spastic feelings in my colon and making me generally irritable (not to mention the diarrhea). I stopped using it within a week, and that was long before it was pulled off the market. Amitiza is the first new 'miracle' drug I have taken since then for my IBS, and so far, so-so.
I don't have any of the miserable side effects of Zelnorm, but I really don't feel much of anything. Granted, I have only been on it for three days, so I need to give it a chance. So far I have had next-to-no bloating, which is great, but I'm not sure I can attribute that to Amitiza. I am still straining to have BMs, so it hasn't caused those 'flash floods' that everyone talks about.
Review by Eleanor
The first day I took Amitiza I had tightness in my chest, which made me cough. Then I began to feel weak, shaky and I had to go to bed. I had a horrible headache and felt nauseous and very sleepy. My chest hurt a lot and I found it hard to breathe and talk. Resting helped. After about four hours or so I began to feel better again. I have asthma, which my doctor knows about, so I don't know why he prescribed this medication for me given the risk of breathing problems related to it.
Review by Joni
I like many people loved Zelnorm and I am sad they took it off the market. I have just recently started trying Amitiza and it is a little scary. My doctor told me there were little or no side effects to this medicine as it typically does not leave the digestive system. I have found that that is not true. I love my doctor but he has probably been misinformed by a salesperson. Doctors don't always have the time to research every drug that is offered to them and so they take the salespersons word as truth.
I have taken three pills on three different days and each time I got a strange feel to my breathing, like when you breath really cold air in the winter. Then I started feeling shaky and my heart rate went up, and then the nausea started. I thought at first it must be something else, but now I am completely convinced it is the Amitiza. This is so frustrating because they take a good medicine off the market and replace it with a very scary one.
Review by Debbie
I have suffered from constipation for 30-plus years and nothing helped. I started taking Amitiza eight months ago and it seemed like a miracle drug. I was willing to put up with the nausea and fatigue, but after six months I began experiencing severe back pain. I was treated with pain meds. I then had severe back pain along with all over body aches.
I was diagnosed with a bladder infection and given Cipro. I continued to experience severe back pain and I finally contacted my gastroenterologist. He said I should discontinue the Amitiza. It has been two months and I am still experiencing severe back and joint pain.
Review by Saydee
I am a 45-year old female with IBS-C. I have been taking Amitiza for about six weeks now. For me the best results come when I combine it with Miralax. This combination has really worked for me, but unfortunately I have some side effects that I cannot live with. Within 30 minutes of taking Amitiza I begin to have shortness of breath, chest pain, tightness, coughing, and sharp pains in my breast. I thought that something else was seriously wrong with me. My doctor is convinced that it is not the drug. However, after reading other comments, it is more likely the Amitiza and not asthma or GERD as suggested, as I have never suffered from them before.
Review by Marilyn
I have had IBS-C all of my life and I am now 55. After years of using OTC laxatives and tons of fiber pills, I finally went to a gastroenterologist and was diagnosed. He put me on Zelnorm and it was perfect in all ways for me. When it was pulled off the market, he gave me Amitiza. That was three or four months ago. It caused awful nausea the first week I took it and I had bad diarrhea. My doc told me to keep taking it and 'work through it', which I did.
It worked wonderfully in that I stopped having any sort of constipation. Instead, I had constant diarrhea. But it was manageable - I just had to know where the bathroom was and stay close. However, it and my body went haywire this past week. I woke up at 4am in a puddle of diarrhea on Tuesday. I took no Amitiza on Tuesday and took one pill on Wednesday morning. I pooped my pants at work and had to go home to change pants.
After a few hours (and I felt fine), I went to the store where I got a sensation that I needed the bathroom. Diarrhea started flowing from me and I could not stop it or control it. I ran through the store to the bathroom where I spent an hour trying to clean myself. I had to get a store employee who came in to contact my husband. The story goes on and on. It was the most humiliating thing that could ever happen.
When I got home I called my gastro and he informed me that I had a stomach flu (I am not sick!) and to stop the Amitiza for a week and then start again. I will find a new gastro rather than take it again. I hope no-one else ever has to go through what I experienced.
Review by Debbie
I was recently diagnosed with IBS. I was placed on a regimen of Amitiza, fiber pills and Miralax. I take the Miralax once a day and Amitiza and the fiber pills twice a day. It took about two weeks before I noticed results but since then I have had at least two or three bowel movements each week (better than one per week). So far, I am pleased with the regimen that my doctor has placed me on.
Review by Rita
I've been on Amitiza for about a month now. In the beginning I got severe cramps and diarrhea, but I believe that meant the medicine was working. I experience some nausea, but I think that could just be in my head...so I eat something good to counteract it. I notice that if it is not taken with meals the constipation is worse. It's not a cure-all, but I think that, along with the fiber supplements and water, it helps a lot.
Review by Charlize
I have been taking Amitiza for four weeks now. It works wonderfully for my IBS-C, which I have had for about seven years. I was on Zelnorm for two years and it too worked very well for me, but Amitiza works even better! I did have a little nausea off and on for the first two weeks but it went away when I started taking it with meals. I have one to three BMs per day and no bloating at all. I have also been able to drop 10 pounds because my energy level has gone up!
Review by Michelle
Today was my first day of taking Amitiza after seeing my MD yesterday for severe constipation. I took the pill this morning with my cereal. Well, within an hour, I was in the bathroom with diarrhea, so, it worked. Well, I then felt extremely nauseous, flushed, dizzy, headachey and just plain ill. It has been about an hour and a half since then and the side effects are letting up finally. I really don't think I want to take this medication again, not even the next pill for the day. It did make me have a bowel movement, but it is not worth it to me to feel so ill - flu-like even!
Review by Melissa
I've been on Amitiza since April and it's by far the worst IBS drug I've tried. Zelnorm was my savior and now that it's off the market, I've been in hell. I have seen nothing from this new drug, only bloating, swollen hands and more constipation. My gastro has put me on Miralax twice a day which I find to be very helpful. But Amitiza...it's expensive and hasn't produced anything for me in the two months I've been on it. Why did they take Zelnorm off the market?!
Review by Patricia
I just started taking Amitiza after finishing my very last Zelnorm pill (I know it was taken off the market but I continued using it as I still had some left). I loved Zelnorm, it truly was a miracle drug. It instantly worked for me. I am saddened by Amitiza as it is not working very well after taking it for a few days.
Review by Tony
I have been taking Amitiza for about two weeks now and I have to say that this is the best thing that they have ever come out with. Before this I did not have a bowel movement for about four to five days at a time. Now with Amitiza I go two to three times a day with no side effects.
Review by Sharon
I have had chronic constipation for 40 years. I have tried everything on the market. When they came out with Zelnorm I thought this was a miracle drug. My stomach felt great and I started living a normal life instead of being in the doctor's office or at home missing work due to my stomach. I also have diverticulitis and I was always sick and taking Bactrim for infection. It was awful.
Zelnorm let me live a normal life without side effects before they took it off the market. I think they need to take Amitiza off the market and put Zelnorm back. Nothing else worked for me. I cannot stand the side effects of Amitiza. I take three laxative pills and two colon cleaning pills every day to have a bowel movement. If I don't my stomach gets infected and I am on antibiotics for three days and feel awful, lifeless and with fever. I would sell my horse to get Zelnorm because I can function like a person and feel great.
Review by Thomas
I've been taking 24mcg of Amitiza a day for over a month with absolutely no positive or negative effects. In fact I might as well not be taking anything.
Review by Susan
I have suffered with IBS-C for over 13 years and I have tried many therapies to regain some kind of normalcy with movements. My doctor recently gave me some samples of Amitiza to try. I was only able to tolerate taking a total of eight doses due to the chest discomfort, mainly shortness of breath. I also experienced extreme nausea, flushing and headaches. I was extremely hopeful that this drug would be my miracle but unfortunately I was sadly disappointed. It caused terrible side effects and did absolutely nothing to help with movements.
Review by Melissa
I have been on Amitiza for six weeks and I must say that it worked for about 15 days. I guess I keep waiting for it to work. I am desperate. I am currently experiencing severe swelling in my fingers and do see that it is a side effect. I will say that my GI doc told me to take simethicone 30 minutes prior to a meal and that has helped with some of the bloating from IBS. I have added Omega twice a day and have found better results in relieving constipation.
Review by Chris
I have colitis, IBS, MS and asthma. A little over a year ago I suffered a complete separation of my appendix, which required major surgery and then a second surgery while healing to remove adhesions which had developed. Since then I have taken Prevacid and Zelnorm, until Zelnorm was taken off the market. My withdrawal from Zelnorm was so severe that I had to go to the ER due to severe abdominal pain resulting from constipation.
I am in extremely good shape, with very low blood pressure. Since taking Amitiza 24mcg, twice daily, my BMs have become regular, but I am experiencing worrying side effects that have me questioning whether or not I should continue using Amitiza. As seems common, I did experience nausea for the first few days, but this has since become less of a problem.
The problems I have now include swelling of my feet and a very uncomfortable tightness in my chest. In addition, my blood pressure has risen 10 to 15 points, although even now my blood pressure is not considered high when compared to the average, but this may not be relevant. I am uncomfortable right now and my blood pressure is 127/80 - before Amitiza it was consistently within one or two points of 108/73.
Amitiza has considerably reduced my bloating, which is generally quite severe. However, I need to say that my switching from Metamucil and Benefiber to Citrucel may bear some of the credit, because Citrucel contains an entirely different ingredient to the other fiber supplements and does not produce excess gas. I don't know what I should do next. Will these uncomfortable side effects eventually go away, like the nausea, or am I risking heart problems? Tomorrow will be my 12th day taking Amitiza.
Review by Leigh
I loved Zelnorm but it's no longer available. Miralax worked just as well but I found the big bottle and daily mixing of the powder to be a hassle, especially while traveling, and also socially embarrassing. Today at dinner I took my first dose of Amitiza as recommended. I had two bowel movements but was in bed for three hours because of nausea. I'm gonna try to take it again tomorrow night, but I definitely cannot endure a week of the nausea. It was bad.
Review by Melissa
I had been on Zelnorm for four months when the FDA pulled it. I loved it and I was not too happy about it being taken off the market. I immediately called my gastro who gave me Amitiza. I was very sick the first few days. Then it actually worked for a couple of weeks. Now I am only having BMs every couple of days and the gas is terrible. I was going to try to take my entire prescription because of the price I had to pay, but I am stopping it cold turkey today to see if I feel any better.
Review by Debbie
I was on Zelnorm for two years for IBS with constipation before it was taken off the market. It worked great with no side effects. I started on Amitiza three weeks ago, and I had mild nausea at first. I also had sinus headaches and I was treated for a sinus infection. I am constantly bloated. I also suffer from fibromyalgia. My GI did not think the sinus headaches were related to the Amitiza. I still get occasional headaches.
Review by Marie
I have been on a combination of Miralax and Zelnorm for the past nine months. It worked so well I forgot I actually have a problem. Well with the removal of Zelnorm I panicked. The GI recommended Amitiza. I lasted five days and should have stopped at three.
I felt chest discomfort within 30 minutes of every dose, and a general all over ill feeling. I thought I had developed asthma. It did actually work but the side effects scared me. I am hoping for the emergency supply of Zelnorm, my GI is already working on it for me.
Review by Heather
I have suffered with IBS-C for nearly 10 years (I'm 35). Zelnorm worked wonders for me, but of course we are all aware of its demise. I asked my doctor about Amitiza and I have been taking it for about two weeks now. The first week was rather miserable (diarrhea, followed by intense bloating, gas, constipation, and cramping) but I stuck to it. Around the sixth day it began to regulate my system.
I am now having a regular daily BM, no more cramping, and only slight amounts of bloating and gas that is livable with compared to the alternative. I notice that I have to take it with food, and a sufficient amount of food, otherwise I will be nauseated. I also noticed a heightened sensitivity to any amounts of caffeine. Overall, however, I have so far found that Amitiza is a satisfactory substitute until Zelnorm returns.
Review by Urbanette
My gastro doctor put me on four Zelnorm daily, and I had been on it for over two years with mostly good results. After it was removed my doctor put me on Amitiza, and after the first week I was ready to give it up due to nausea and generally feeling rotten, but I was determined to give it a good try since there was nothing more available.
I began taking Amitiza with my 11am and 5pm meals along with one or two phenergan to counteract nausea. I was still having to use prune juice, Miralax and a stool softener to produce BMs. Well, I am now into the third week of Amitiza and I have not had to use prune juice or Miralax for the past few nights, and have had between one and five BMs daily. I am still dealing with the nausea but that happens every time I have a BM and has continued to happen for years. I was ready to give up Amitiza after a week but I am glad I didn't.
Review by Lara
I've been on Amitiza for a week and a half now. So far, it hasn't helped much with the constipation, but a friend of mine said that it took about three weeks for it to kick in in her case (she also lost 30 pounds since starting it). I'm willing to stick it out if it will actually work. I do get a little nauseous when I take it, but it's not unbearable. The breathing/coughing thing comes and goes. I have vowed to try this for 30 days to see if it makes a difference. If it doesn't, it's back to the drawing board for me.
Review by Jill
I have had IBS-C for as long as I can remember. I have tried all the over-the-counter drugs, including Miralax. The only time I was able to have a movement every day was when I used a two-week cleansing medication bought at Whole Foods.
Well, the gastro doctor prescribed Amitiza and I loved it the first week. After that I noticed some bloating, gas and more movements than wished for (meaning diarrhea). I was traveling by plane and so decided not to take the Amitiza for two days. On the third day I took it - and had a massive diarrhea attack. The cramping afterwards lasted all night. Truly awful. I am unsure if this happened because I went off and on the Amitiza, but it sucks. I need to call the doctor back I think, but I am pretty sure he won't have another medication for me to try.
Review by Pat
I must be susceptible to side effects, because I think I have suffered from every single one that is listed. Nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, I gained five pounds while continuing with WeightWatchers and eating an average of 1500 calories a day, extreme depression and despair, twitchy eyes, and a stabbing pain under my left breast. I have also had tightness of the chest, difficulty breathing, and insomnia. There is no way this is better than the IBS-C.
Review by Kathy
I have been on Amitiza for about two weeks. It took about a week to work and then it basically stopped after the second week. I also suffer from fibromyalgia and the muscle pain has become so intense that I have quit taking the Amitiza. I was glad to read about the fatigue...I just thought I was really run down but apparently this goes along with the other side effects. I do have to say that I did not have the nausea except on the first day. I always took the Amitiza with yogurt.
Review by Tom
Hello everyone. I've had IBS-C for many years and I have tried many things, Amitiza being the most current treatment. Unfortunately it did absolutely nothing! The price is unbelievable...I expected more.
Review by Nancy
I had poor results with Zelnorm, so my doctor prescribed Amitiza. The headaches are moderate and sporadic...not too bad. But after 40 days on the drug, the fatigue and obvious hair loss has caused me to ask to be taken off the drug, even though it does work well for me.
Review by Kim
I have had IBS for over five years. It started as IBS-D but now it is awful IBS-C. My gastro doctor prescribed Zelnorm which did nothing. He told me to try Benefiber three times a day which pretty much did nothing but made me feel bloated and give me awful gas. He also prescribed Miralax which helped some but had pretty much the same results as the Benefiber.
I finally asked my family doctor about the issue a couple of months ago and he gave me some samples of Amitiza. It is wonderful! I went to the bathroom within 24 hours! Wow! I do have some gas issues, but not nearly as bad as with the Miralax, and it works! I actually go to the bathroom almost every day!
It is a new drug though and it is fairly expensive. Recently I needed to wait for a paycheck and couldn't get my prescription refilled so I tried some Senokot in the meantime. I found out that it works pretty darn good as well. Still the gas issues but I've come to expect that. I just wish I could find something that would help that issue. Gas-X and all those type things have been useless for me.
Review by Bonnie
I have been taking Amitiza for a little over a week, after Zelnorm was taken off the market. I wanted to let people know that it works for me. It takes about a full week to kick in. It does help with the constipation and bloating. It's different than Zelnorm - Zelnorm makes the belly feel good. Amitiza is a second best for me until Zelnorm is available again (which my doctor thinks will be soon!). I take one 24mcg tablet twice a day along with a stool softener and a bowl of fiber One cereal, which has the most fiber of any cereal out there.
Review by Lisa
This medication made me extremely nauseous and did not really help my constipation. My doctor advised me to stop taking it and recommended Miralax which is now available over the counter. I am starting it today and I am hopeful for better results.
Review by Cheryl
I had great results with Zelnorm and I have not been the same since it was taken off the market. My doctor prescribed Amitiza and I had to stop by the third day due to side effects. Amitiza caused flushing, dizziness, extreme fatigue, nausea and dry mouth. The IBS symptoms went away but the side effects were more than I could handle. I know the side effects were a direct result of the medication because they started to wear off as the medication wore off, and started up within an hour of taking Amitiza. I really miss the Zelnorm!
Review by Susan
I have been suffering from severe IBS for about the last five years. For a long time I tried to treat it myself with fiber supplements, Colace, and OTC laxatives, and in emergencies, liquid magnesium citrate. I am a vegetarian and eat a very high fiber, low fat diet.
After two embarrassing trips to the emergency room I finally consulted a gastroenterologist about a year ago. He put me on Zelnorm and hallelujah! Zelnorm is a miracle drug. Within days my digestive system was more regular than I can remember in my adult life. No side effects, just blessed relief. I was on it for just about a year with no complaints and complete relief.
When I heard that Zelnorm was being yanked from the market I cried. I called my doctor and he gave me a month's worth of Amitiza. What a nightmare. Aside from not working at all, I immediately started suffering from severe nausea, choking dry mouth, constant twitching in my right eyelid and debilitating headaches. In addition, I gained six pounds in a month, very difficult for a strict vegetarian.
Aside from the nausea and weight gain, I didn't even connect the other side effects with Amitiza until after I stopped taking it. I have a call in to my doctor, but his physician's assistant has already told me that they really have nothing else to offer. I don't know what to do or how I am going to continue leading anything like a normal life.
Review by Cindy
I have multiple autoimmune disease and I also have IBS, which was diagnosed three years ago. I cried (literally) the day that Zelnorm was taken off the market. I have had absolutely no success with any over-the-counter medications (Colon Clenz, milk of magnesia, etc) so my rheumatologist suggested that I try Amitiza until I could get in to see my gastro specialist.
Well, after three days there is no result whatsoever. I couldn't be more disappointed in a recommended therapy. I have a horrible amount of bloating, horrible cramps, and nausea with no results. I would have expected that a prescription drug would have a better effect. What a huge disappointment.
Review by Debbie
I was diagnosed with IBS about 15 years ago, but I have had the symptoms for about 20 years or so. I guess that you could say that if there is a product or home remedy out there, I have most likely tried it. It seems like I have had the worst of it for about three years now when the stress has been at its peak. My mother has been very ill and came to live with my daughter and me around that time.
About two months ago, I suddenly noticed that I had managed to be BM-free for over eight days. I drank a cup of hot tea in a matter of minutes - this used to work, but it didn't work this time. I finally got in to see my doctor that evening and he immediately did an x-ray. I had no blockages, so he prescribed Colace and an enema for back-up and sent me on my way.
Now, I am not sure about other folks but all that Colace does for me is make me fill up with gas and bloat really badly. And it's really hard to swallow! So, I used the enema and just got it over with. But that was only a temporary fix. It seems that the constipation is becoming more of a regular thing than a regular BM.
About two weeks later my doctor prescribed Zegerid. But just as soon as I started taking it, his office called and told me to stop taking it because the FDA had pulled it for some reason. That's when I was started on the Amitiza.
It has finally gotten me on a regular pattern, but I do have the upset stomach, with or without food. And for the last week I have had a really bad pain just below my right breast. I have a lump there also, but it seems to come and go so I am not sure if it is the medicine or not. I am headed to the doctor tonight and will keep you in the loop. I hope I can continue with Amitiza, for the first time in years I finally feel regular!
Review by Kim
I was diagnosed with primarily constipation-related IBS many years ago. I went through a two-month course of Zelnorm when the product first came out with no success. I was excited to hear about Amitiza and asked my doc for a prescription. It's been a few days now, and I don't think I can take another pill. The nausea is almost unbearable. I'm also more gassy and bloated than usual.
My bowel movements are really no different than when on fiber. As a matter of fact, my stools seem harder and a little more difficult to pass. I think I'm going back to high doses of fiber plus stool softeners. At least I know I won't be nauseated.
Review by Erin
Although Amitiza has eased my constipation (not entirely, but a noticeable difference) my abdomen feels like it's continuously getting hit with a sledgehammer. I can't touch it without it hurting. It's nearly impossible to function at work. It's hard to tell whether or not I'm reacting to the Amitiza or I'm in a medical emergency situation.
Review by Christina
I have suffered from constipation for most of my life and treated it myself with senna and psyllium for the last 15 years. My doctor said I needed to get off both and prescribed Amitiza (Zelnorm wasn't an option because I have adhesions from multiple surgeries). I took it in the evening and the next morning I could see a dramatic positive effect. Thereafter I was taking it twice a day.
Though it was working well to relieve my constipation, I had numerous side effects including nausea, stomach cramps, dizziness, decreased energy levels and shortness of breath. However, the most severe side effects were mental and emotional and it took me over a month of taking it to see that Amitiza was the cause. I had difficulty concentrating and comprehending routine information and I became irrational, very emotional and depressed to the point where I was having suicidal thoughts.
My husband pointed out that one of Amitiza's listed side effects was mental/mood changes and suggested Amitiza could be the cause. The first day off Amitiza my energy level and mental clarity were dramatically increased and the overwhelming sense of despair was gone.
After a week off Amitiza I was feeling great emotionally, but I was again very constipated. Thinking (and hoping) that maybe something else had been the cause of my mental/emotional downward spiral, I decided to try Amitiza again, but only took it at night because of the pronounced impact on my ability to function during the day. After just two doses of Amitiza, I could see the despair and irrationality setting in. The doctor had never heard of such a strong response but now has me on Miralax and I'm hoping that will work.
Review by Carol
I have been taking Amitiza for a week now and the nausea is overwhelming. I eat when I take it, but so far that doesn't stop the nausea. I was on Zelnorm until they took it off the market. Also I'm not seeing any difference in the bowel movements. Still constipated. Surely there has to be a better drug.
Review by Annie
I have been taking Amitiza for several weeks. It hasn't helped and I haven't even been off of my liquid diet yet. I have headaches, bloating and I am sick to my stomach. I also have some strange eye twitching. I was on Zelnorm and it worked perfectly but it is not approved anymore.
Review by Crystal
This stuff is from hell! I was in pain from the top of my head to my feet the entire time I took it. Not to mention the shortness of breath and dizziness. I looked online and learned that all were side effects from Amitiza. It didn't help the IBS for me.
Review by Bev
My doctor put me on Amitiza as I have been on everything for my IBS and nothing has worked. I am experiencing nausea and I become light-headed if I take one tablet in morning, even with food, plus one at night. So for now I just take one at night along with my Perdiem and it seems to work OK. I do have a lot of bloating, but it has only been a few days and I am hopeful this will work itself out as my body adjusts.
I have gone up to two weeks without a bowel movement and I don't like relying on tea products or products that make you dependent on them, but sometimes I have no choice.
Review by Misty
I was given a prescription for Amitiza about six months ago, and it has done wonders for me. I have a bowel movement every day. I used to go a week without any bowel movements, so this has been a Godsend. I do have the side effect of nausea from time to time, but most of the time I only have it when I forget to eat with the medication. I tried Zelnorm in the past and it only worked for a few months and then stopped. I hope the Amitiza continues to work for me!
Review by Frances
I was taking Senokot and docusate sodium for four months, but I still had extreme bloating. I was having bowel movements three times a day, but the bloating was intense. My blood was also checked and the docusate sodium was causing a lot of problems.
I was placed on Amitiza with so far excellent results. My bloating has gone down tremendously. I do get nauseated if I don't eat something first, so I eat a cracker. I was in a really bad car accident last year, my liver was lacerated and my intestines had to be sewn back together. I have been having problems with my intestines since. I do have to take Fibercon with the Amitiza, but they are working very well together.
Review by Michelle
I have been taking Amitiza for a few weeks now, and I have to say it has truly helped me a lot. I only take a dose at night and by morning the Amitiza is doing its job. Like a lot of people, I would suffer for 10 days before I would have to take a laxative. I have a little nausea at night, but eating a piece of toast usually helps with that. Let's hope the Amitiza keeps working.
Review by Kim
I have used Amitiza for several months, and whoever invented it should be president of the United States! I have tried every prescription and over-the-counter product made, and nothing worked until Amitiza. I had nausea at first but I powered through it, and it only lasted a couple of days and then went away. I stopped the drug for a couple of days when I ran out on a vacation and had nausea when I started it again, but it only lasted a couple of days that time as well.
This drug has literally changed my life! Before I have gone 12 days without a movement but now I am regular. Foods that used to really upset my stomach don't bother me anymore and I have lost 10lbs, as my doctor predicted I would when my body got regulated.
Review by Traci
I started taking Amitiza two weeks ago for IBS-C in conjunction with Miralax. It produced bowel movements every other day along with bloating and nausea. I developed blisters in my mouth and was immediately taken off Amitiza by my doctor. She wants my symptoms to resolve and I will try Zelnorm next.
Review by Cheryl
My doctor gave me samples of Amitiza about a month ago. I took one in his office before I left and within a half hour I had a bowel movement. I took it the next day, but at work I had these cramps and I would have to literally run to the bathroom. So I just stopped taking it.
I went to my doctor the other day for a follow-up. He asked me how the Amitiza was working for me and I said just great (I lied because he would have flipped out on me for just stopping it). So I decided to try it again regardless of the results, except now I am experiencing extreme nausea and bloating and occasional cramping.
I am going to up my intake of fluids since I have a major problem with that and hope it helps. I figured it's worth a shot one more time, if it doesn't work this time or becomes unbearable I will be honest with my doc!
Review by Stephanie
I was diagnosed with IBS-C a week ago when I went to the doctor for severe gas and rectal spasms. I had also been having frequent constipation, but I didn't go for constipation, just gas and rectal pain. He told me I was constipated and had IBS-C and prescribed Amitiza. I didn't believe him, but the pains and spasms were so intense that I just listened and took the Amitiza anyway.
It took about 10 to 12 hours and I had a bowel movement and that relieved all the pain. So, I guess he was right. It did cause a little diarrhea, but I was instructed to skip the next dose if that happened. I always take it with meals, like the info says, and experience slight to no nausea. I have been taking it for a week now, and I feel a lot better and have no constipation. I did have the pains again though when I forgot to take the Amitiza.
So, over all, it has worked well for me by preventing the IBS-C symptoms before I have even suffered them all. I don't know how people have lived with this for years without adequate medication.
Review by Jennifer
I was diagnosed with IBS-C about three years ago. My doctor tried a few mild medicines first but nothing worked. About two weeks ago he put me on Amitiza. When he put me on this medicine I had not used the bathroom in almost a week. I was backed up all the way to my ribs it felt like. The only thing the medicine seem to do was shift my bowels down a little further and cause me gas and bloating.
And to make matters worse I started to have fully-fledged asthma attacks! My doctor failed to ask me if I had asthma. I couldn't figure out what was causing my attacks. My father-in-law overheard me and my husband talking about it one day and it just so happened that I had the sample box right beside me. He told me that on the commercial it says that it can cause shortness of breath and patients with asthma shouldn't take it. I was furious.
So needless to say I'm trying to find a new gastro right now! I hadn't had an asthma attack in almost a year and it caused me to have one so bad that it scared me.
Review by Sheila
I have had colitis/IBS-C for over 10 years now. I have tried numerous medications, including Bentyl, Levsin, Miralax and Zelnorm. Bentyl and Levsin didn't work at all. Miralax worked for about six months. I thought Zelnorm was God's gift to me, but unfortunately my IBS adjusted to it.
I have just started a course of Amitiza and the jury is still out. I am taking Compazine in conjunction with Amitiza to prevent nausea. I did, however, notice that I had action (movement) in my abdominal region within an hour of my first dose of Amitiza, which is more than I have had in a long time. I see from the comments on this page that nausea seems to be the breaking factor on whether or not patients are willing to continue treatment with Amitiza. I can report that Compazine is helping me with the nausea. Hopefully Amitiza will do its part! I will report my results in the future.
Update on Sheila...
I'm back with great news. I have been taking Amitiza for several days now. Within the first 36 hours I had my first bowel movement and have had at least one every day since. Prior to starting Amitiza it had been a very long 10 days since my last BM so I was absolutely thrilled that it worked so quickly considering everything else I have tried had to build up in my system first. As you can imagine after being constipated for 10 days, it was quite a relief.
At this point the only major side effect that I have endured is nausea but I continue to take Compazine to combat it. I have had some minor stomach discomfort, but it is a small price to pay considering the alternative.
Review by Ebony
I have been on Amitiza for two days and so far, it's working. I have tried every OTC and prescription possible for my IBS which I have been battling for more than half my life (I'm 29). Zelnorm worked for a while but then stopped, and so did Miralax. So far the Amitiza gives me relief in the stomach and rectum.
I have some side effects but as of now they are mild. The nausea comes like gangbusters if I don't take it with food (I'll forget and then take it a while after I've eaten) and that's the worst. I've gotten minor headaches and abdominal cramps (nowhere near as bad as some laxatives though). Overall, it has worked for me and I hope it doesn't lose its power over time.
Review by Karin
I had nausea and vomiting as a direct result of taking this medication and unfortunately needed to give it up after approximately 10 days. I did not have any relief from my IBS symptoms in the short time I was taking this medication. It just wasn't meant for me. I am now taking Zelnorm.
Review by Alison
I've had IBS-C for over 10 years, but it has gotten significantly worse in the past year. There seems to be a growing acknowledged correlation between IBS-C and anxiety, which seems to be particularly relevant in my case. I have tried other remedies such as Zelnorm and even a mild anti-depressant for my IBS. Zelnorm loses effect after a while (at least for me). I tried taking Amitiza but it made me so incredibly nauseous that I had to discontinue taking it. I have never felt so ill in my life as when I took Amitiza. Awful!
Review by Rose
I have been using Amitiza for seven days for IBS-C and it is a miracle. I have battled constipation for 20+ years. I have used everything on the market, including Zelnorm and Miralax, neither of which helped. Prior to Amitiza, I was using supplements from the health food store, cleansing treatments and such. Most worked for a few weeks, then began to cause problems. This new medicine has been the best I've used. It has been totally natural for me, with few side effects, if any. In the past, nothing has worked for very long. Let's hope this is different.
Update on Rose...
I wrote the above review a month or so ago. At that time, Amitiza was the greatest product that I had ever tried. That didn't last long. I begin to have extreme nausea. I then quit the product. After a few days off Amitiza, I decided to try taking it only at night. I didn't have the nausea if I took it just before bedtime. The results were not as good as with the dose of two a day.
I then began taking a dietary supplement for daily cleansing along with the Amitiza. The product is Fiber Fusion by Enzymatic (incrediberry-flavored). I had taken this product alone with patchy results. The combination of the two has been great. I have been doing this for over two months and feel that the results are great. I no longer have nausea and have been regular. I even went on a week's vacation and had no problems. That's never happened before. Vacations were always very unpleasant.
Review by Liz
I have been battling severe IBS for over 10 years...I have tried numerous prescription medications (Zelnorm, Miralax) but Amitiza has helped relieve my symptoms of constipation, gas and bloating. It's not perfect, and I still have irregular bowel movements, but the doctor I see is working with me to help regulate this by supplementing milk of magnesia in the evening to assist in having a morning bowel movement on a daily basis. Just started...hopefully this will work!
Review by Jane
I tried Amitiza. It helped with the constipation but gave me severe bloating throughout the day. Also, I started to have insomnia which is a side effect. Back to the drawing board...
Review by Joe
I have had severe IBS with constipation for over 20 years. Amitiza has greatly helped in relieving my system. The difference is incredible!