On Linzess For A Week, Not "working" - Help!

MinitelRose Says:

Hi all! I'm new here, but not new to constipation... However, I only got my first *prescription* medication to treat it a week ago when my new PCP finally related enough to my digestive woes and the frustration that comes from years of living through the futile cycle of Miralax, MoM bombs, evil teas, and throwing my hands in the air.

She gave me samples of Linzess (low and high dose) and thoroughly educated me on how to take it properly, along with a fair warning to remain near the bathroom those first few days. Honestly, I was pumped! And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I've taken, and stored, this medicine correctly because I was all in on making this work, as gruesome as those first days might be.

But alas, radio silence. I started with the low dose a week ago (a Wednesday) this morning. Nothing. Except a feeling like my GI tract is turning to stone. NOT cramping, not "abs of steel." Not gas. Something closer to petrification. Thursday wasn't any better. Switched to the higher dose on Friday. Nothing-- except the "hardening" is getting harder/ harder to bare and I swear I've gained 5 visible pounds of lumpy, gross fat. (That's noticeable on me and really kicking me when I'm down. I'm only slightly ashamed to say that I care a lot about my appearance and work very hard to look good! Not cool, Linzess!) Repeated this on Saturday, Sunday, Monday. NOTHING. Except those cool side effects!

By yesterday morning I'd had enough. I decided not to take the Linzess at all and I didn't take it today either. No relief yet, nor even from the painful side effects. If anything, I feel like I have more of a calcified sensation in my middle GI tract than ever. This is not my typical constipation-related pain and/or area of distension.

My PCP told me that Linzess doesn't work on the bloodstream, so I'm wondering, does it just work straight in your gut? This possibility has me concerned that if you have to "pass" Linzess in order to pass it out of your body, I'm not going to be able to get it out of me... at least in theory. I know in actuality there's not going to be a toxic waste site declared in my GI tract just because the dam is backed up with Linzess pills.

Has anyone else experienced this? I feel like the only person who isn't ripping the toilet seat off six times a day!

If nothing else, any advice if this has happened with another failed constipation medicine? We are WAY past the general constipation that brought me to Linzess in the first place (in other words, thank you kindly, but warm water with lemon or chomping down on some garlic isn't exactly the words I'm looking for!).

And not to mooch too, too much, but if anyone wants to throw out a pow-er-ful, lasting, constipation rx (or not rx)... that didn't make them gain weight-- that's some BS, Linzess!-- I'm all ears. Thank you all so, so much!


PS, I am a 30 year old female, in peak physical shape, I maintain a healthy diet (especially in light of lifelong constipation issues), drink PLENTY of water, exercise daily, no thyroid, autoimmune, inflammation imbalances, etc.

55 Replies (3 Pages)

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Linzess man Says:

I have had chronic constipation for 20 years years. I started Linzess 55 days ago. It is working for me with a BM every morning, usually within an hour of taking it. sometimes it gives me the runs, but not often. Things are much better for me on Linzess

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Ginny Says:

Linzess did not do much for me in morning on empty stomach. One evening I tried it after I had eaten. It worked within hours and emptied me out. I had diarrhea/ runs for a few hours and it was over and I felt so much better. It is better than constipation. I can't do it every day. But once a week I have to because without it I have no bowel activity.

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David Says:

Hey all,

I've been seeing a lot of posts here lately in regards to Linzess not working correctly or people just experiencing bothersome side effects shortly after taking it. Just wanted to share a few links to some of these related discussion threads below, so you know you're not alone:

1. Discuss/linzess-issues-291637.htm

2. Discuss/linzess-weight-gain-247630.htm

3. Discuss/Anybody-else-with-these-issues-280143.htm

4. Discuss/BAD-CONSTIPATION-289909.htm

And while it's not my intention, I do understand that some people may get upset when others mention trying natural remedies for their constipation... But it seems to me that if a "healthy diet" is still causing a person to be THIS "backed up" if you will, then there's either an underlying issue that needs medical attention (potentially surgical - god forbid) or you're diet really isn't as healthy as the word healthy makes it sound when you say you eat a healthy diet...And I don't mean any offense by saying this, honestly, no one's perfect; I just don't get how constipation like this can keep reoccurring in an otherwise healthy body for so many years? I.e. - What is it that causes chronic constipation for 20 years besides what you've been putting in your body on a daily basis through your diet? (RE: post #2) Can anyone expand on this with medical reasoning?

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Linzess man Says:

I am now on day 62 with Linzess and have had only one day of constipation during that time. I warn you that the first few days or weeks on Linzess are not easy (bloating, naseua, runs, etc.). I almost quit it after 2 1/2 weeks but my wife reminded me that I said I was going to give it 30 days. I am sure glad I did. I have suffered with IBS for 20 years.

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David Says:

@Linzess man,

Thanks for clearing up that part of your earlier post, regarding the whole "20 years of chronic constipation". I was a little confused at first wondering why after 20 years there hasn't been a solution for constipation; but I do understand that IBS is often referred to as a long term disorder many people deal with in this day and age.

Something I find interesting though is that WebMD notes how stress and anxiety can supposedly trigger symptoms associated with IBS. This makes me wonder if those factors played a role in its manifestation..like if you are into living a fast paced lifestyle, not getting a lot of sleep, often stressed from work, etc? Nevertheless, I wish you all the relief in the world as I can't imagine what it would be like dealing with it for that long. I'm glad to hear that Linzess is helping someone out there despite all the negative reviews.

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Matt Says:

Yea, its because of an infection, inflammation or an obstruction. When the colon is chronically inflammed it also weakens peristalic action, further complicating matters.
Somebody without issues has no clue. Its NOT directly caused from eating. For some it is i.m sure
I was a health nut, picked up lyme and its never been the same
Gastro docs arent even trained to look for infections. They just say , more fiber or here.s a pill to water down your stool. It.s a joke.

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Jenn Says:

Hello, Linzess has also stopped working for me but it seems like it never really worked in the first place. This is my 6th week on the low dosage and it emptied my bowels maybe 3-4 times. The rest of the time, my abdomen has expanded to make me appear 6-7 months pregnant (bad since I am only 5'4" and 100 lbs) and I have cramps within 1-2 hours after taking it on an empty stomach but feel constipated and full of gas - smells horrible when I let it out and embarassing! I am healthy and exercise daily and avoid most dairy and high sodium foods due to lactose intolerance and a low-salt diet (kidney stones, lupus). Since it has only been 6 weeks, I am voluntarily stopping Linzess and wait to see my gastroenterologist in February for a new plan!

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Nomadh Says:

Hi there. I probably often think or respond to issues with that kind of response. 'Either you're not reporting correctly, or there's something else going on'. With constipation this chronic, I feel I'm unfortunately an expert. Going on my 14th year of severe issues all over the spectrum, and pain you just learn to live with. It absolutely changes your whole personality and outlook. To say one could be irritable is an easily obvious sentiment. I started a liver cleanse once, became so backed up that I started turning toxic, i.e. nausea, headaches, bloated, severe pain, not energy, general death. 1 BM in 4 weeks is not how the body is supposed to function, I gave up and went heavy duty ex lax for days. A blessed improvement was found about 2 yrs ago, in that I discovered Dr. Schulz Intestinal Formulae No 1. I have to take quite a lot (anywhere from 3-7 caps a night), and with stool softener, but it lets me evacuate, and feel better. I can't recommend this product enough. I'm in this forum because after a colonoscopy and a f/u with the gastro doc, I'm trying Linzess. Day 5 now. Haven't noticed anything much, but I'm weening down my normal regimen so I should know if it's helping or hurting soon.

And, being that the Intestinal Formulae No 1 contains cascara, it's not the best long term answer as its a stimulant laxative. I don't know if the Linzess will be a blessing, or if I'll have to continue the multi-pill nightly regimen to function that isn't a long term answer. I do know that there is something hugely abnormal about some part of my GI tract, or the brain gut connection, dysfunctional serotonin in the GI tract, or what. The whole progression and devastation of horrible IBS C has given me a borderline eating disorder, but positively helped me improve my already pretty excellent diet. I feel like I probably eat better than 99% of the population. Not being grandiose or elitist, I just have to. Even with all of that, like so many people on here say, 'if I don't take something, I don't go.' It's been a true relief just hearing of other people having the same extreme difficulty as myself. Constipation can definitely be that bad.

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the elastic waistband queen Says:

How can a healthy person have constipation? Same way a healthy person can have cancer. The body is an art form, not a machine. For me it goes back to a 'redundant colon.' I have an abnormally hugely long colon and stuff just sits there and sits there. I have gone 10 days before resorting to otc remedies: it is not fun. Diet, natural remedies, more water, and exercise just do not work for many healthy lifestyle people. People who poop are blessed!

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Ann Says:

I too have been in the same place you are. I am 54 yrs old. My IBS has gotten worse as I have Horton older. I started Highest dose of Linzess. It worked at first then nothing. I found out that with IBS and older age you cannot digest coffee, pop,tea(unless herbal) it works against you. Two days after cutting out coffee etc. my Linzess is working. Give it a try.

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Ann Says:

Try cutting out coffee ,tea , pop , I did and my Linzess is working.

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Cammie Says:

I have been on linzess a week and nothing. My stomach feels terrible. I just need some relief.

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Mike Says:

Hello my name is Mike. I have medical colon issues for the past few years due to ruptured appendix etc. Linzess helps me greatly. Funny thing is I don't take it as prescribed. I take it at night. While my body and mind are resting and every morning it usually works like a charm. I am on the 290 stronger dose. Not giving medical advice but works much better for me overnight. And yes some nights by 3am I am in the restroom. Other times it's 8 in the morning. Just my input good luck!!!!!

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Jeanne Says:

Just started Linzess on Wednesday of this week. Prescribed 295mg taken in the morning. The first 2 days was great and has now abruptly stopped. I am taking liquid erythromycin 3x's a day 30 minutes before I eat. I have no started to take miralax 2x's daily and still nothing is happening. I was just recently discharged from the hospital due to partial bowel obstruction. Last night I had terrible cramping with distention and felt likeI was headed back into another bowel blockage which was initially in the small intestine. I took some stool softener earlier in hopes it may help. I will more than likely have ro stop taking linzess as I am in major discomfort. Having a really bad day!

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DR price Says:

Many people have endometriosis at your age and don't know it. It causes adhesions all over the bowels limiting motility and causing potentially narrow areas of bowels. It's quite possible you are having partial bowel obstructions because mechanical issue. Normally fiber helps us move bowels, but in the case I described above a low residue diet could help. In other words raw fruits and vegetables or grains with a lot of roughage can back up around these adhesioned problem areas. Eating a low residue diet....giving the bowels a rest can help. I do not have any idea if this could be happening to you but a trip to your gynecologist could help you find out if you have endometriosis. D

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Andrea Says:

Healthy diets, exercise...whatever is the norm...didn't work for me because of my low thyroid. Unbeknownst to me. It started gradually and was made even worse by synthroid and armour.
Sorry for your experience.

Linzess worked the first few times for me, as did zelnorm and amitiza. Then, nothing worked. I have now added one OTC laxative to the Linzess and am on an every-other- day regimen. My latest colonoscopy showed darkening of one part of my colon and I was told to switch to miralax....Which I've already tried and had worse problems with it; it is toxic to my colon. So, I'm happy to experience benign darkening of my colon with my Linzess/laxative regimen, than having more trips to the ER with miralax or nothing at all. Something else will come along sooner or later. Constipation is a huge problem and doctors just don't get it.

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Laura Says:

I've been on linzess due to constipation from surgical issues. It worked sporadically for me for 5 months. Following a friend's suggestion that is an r.n. I now take it with a full 12 oz glass of water. If I get up to pee anytime after 4 am, that's when I take it. Otherwise I wait till I get up for the day. And I'm still drinking my coffee! It usually works between 10 and 12. Because of permanent surgical issues I have horrible motility. I am on the higher dose of 290 mg. I do not have the loose stool that a lot of people do.

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Free at last Says:

I started taking magnesium oxide 400 mg. 2-3 times a day which totally cured my IBS-C. No more pain or constipation. Improved my whole life!!

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Free at last Says:

Magnesium oxide 400 mg. 2-3 times per day gave me my life again. I tried Linzess too. Had no idea I could feel so good!

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laura Says:

I had the same issue when first starting it. I take it with a full 16 oz glass of water, and drink it right down with the pill. Definitely a change for the better.

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