Which medications in the drug class Laxatives, Other are used in the treatment of Constipation?

Updated: Jul 04, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
  • Print

Laxatives, Other

These agents elicit various pharmacologic effects resulting in increased intestinal fluid and thereby decrease constipation symptoms.

Lubiprostone (Amitiza)

Lubiprostone is a locally acting chloride channel activator that enhances a chloride-rich intestinal fluid secretion without altering sodium and potassium concentrations in the serum. It specifically activates the C1C-2 chloride channels on the apical membrane of the intestinal epithelial cells. It increases intestinal fluid secretion to assist in GI motility, thereby decreasing the symptoms of constipation (eg, abdominal pain, bloating, straining, hard stools). It is approved to treat chronic idiopathic constipation; opioid-induced constipation in patients with chronic, noncancer pain; and for women with constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C).

Linaclotide (Linzess)

GC-C agonist. Activation of GC-C receptors in the intestinal neurons leads to increased cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), anion secretion, fluid secretion, and intestinal transit. It appears to work topically rather than systemically. When administered PO, linaclotide activates chloride channels in intestinal epithelial cells to increase intestinal fluid secretion; it is indicated to treat chronic idiopathic constipation and for IBS-C in adults.

Plecanatide (Trulance)

GC-C agonist; plecanatide and its active metabolite bind to GC-C and act locally on the luminal surface of intestinal epithelial cells; GC-C activation leads to increased cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) activity, which, in turn, stimulates secretion of chloride and bicarbonate into the intestinal lumen, mainly by activation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) ion channel, resulting in increased intestinal fluid and accelerated transit; plecanatide is indicated for chronic idiopathic constipation in adults.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!