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Constella 

Constella is a medication for adults with moderate to severe irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). This FDA-approved medicine contains the active ingredient Linaclotide, which helps treat the symptoms of this condition. It increases fluid secretion in the intestines and promotes bowel movements, relieving IBS-C and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). The recommended dosage is typically 290 mcg taken orally once daily, regardless of food intake. Constella should not be used by individuals under 18 years old. Common side effects may include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and flatulence. It’s essential to adhere to prescribed dosages and consult a healthcare provider for guidance and potential concerns.

Product Overview

Constella is an FDA-approved medication containing Linaclotide as its active ingredient. Linaclotide is a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist primarily used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Constella works by increasing fluid secretion in the intestine, which helps to soften stools and improve bowel movements, thereby alleviating symptoms associated with these conditions.

Constella typically comes in oral capsule form, with dosages usually ranging from 145 to 290 micrograms, depending on the severity of the condition and individual response. It is taken once daily, preferably on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day. This medication is suitable for adults aged 18 years and older who have been diagnosed with IBS-C or CIC. Constella medications help relieve symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, bloating, and difficulty passing stools.

While Constella is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, or flatulence. It’s essential to follow medical advice closely and report any adverse reactions promptly. Patients should also be cautious about missing doses and avoid doubling up on medication if a dose is missed or in case of a suspected overdose. Proper storage of Constella is crucial to maintain its efficacy. It should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat, and kept out of reach of children. Before starting Constella or any medication, discussing any existing medical conditions, allergies, or medications with a healthcare professional to ensure their suitability and minimize potential risks is essential.

Uses of Constella

Constella is used for the treatment of:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)
  • Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)

How to Use Constella?

Dosage

Constella is most commonly available in capsule form for oral administration. It comes in a number of strengths, including:

  • Constella 72 mcg capsule
  • Constella 145 mcg capsule
  • Constella 290 mcg capsule

Recommended Dosage for Constella

For Adults with IBS-C and CIC

  • Recommended Dose: 145 mcg once daily. 

For Children (18 Years or Younger)

  • Not recommended for children.

For Older Adults (65 Years and Older)

  • Recommended Dose: 145 mcg once daily. 

[Note: Remember these recommendations may vary depending on person to person. Discuss it with your healthcare provider, and they’ll customize your Constella dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

To ensure optimal absorption and effectiveness, you should:

  • Take Constella at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. 
  • Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the capsule, as this may affect its efficacy or cause irritation.
  • Take Constella consistently at the same time each day to maintain steady levels of the medication in your system.
  • Some patients may be given 72 mcg orally once a day based on individual characteristics and tolerability. 
  • Constella capsules should be taken orally with water on an empty stomach (at least 30 minutes before the day’s first meal).
  • No dosage adjustment is generally necessary for older adults. However, caution should be exercised due to the potential for age-related decreases in renal function.
  • Constella is not recommended for use in children under 18 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount of Constella medication for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Constella Work?

Constella, containing the active ingredient Linaclotide, operates as a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist. Upon ingestion, Linaclotide binds to GC-C receptors located on the surface of intestinal epithelial cells. This binding activates the receptors, stimulating intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) production. Elevated cGMP levels then trigger various downstream physiological responses, including increased secretion of chloride and bicarbonate ions into the intestinal lumen and reduced absorption of sodium and water. 

Consequently, this process enhances fluid secretion, accelerates gastrointestinal transit, and softens stools, ultimately promoting bowel movements. By targeting these mechanisms locally within the intestines, Constella effectively alleviates symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), relieving affected individuals.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects of Constella may include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Flatulence
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weakness

Mild side effects of Constella may include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Stomach cramps

Serious side effects of Constella may include:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Intestinal obstruction (symptoms like severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or constipation)

[Note: This list may not cover all possible Constella side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

  • Diarrhea as a Side Effect: The most common issue with this medication is diarrhea. If you experience severe diarrhea, which can be very watery, it can lead to dehydration. This is serious & needs immediate medical attention.
  • Use During Pregnancy: If you’re pregnant, you should generally avoid this medication unless your doctor believes the benefits are greater than the risks. If you become pregnant while on Constella, inform your doctor immediately.
  • Breastfeeding Considerations: It’s unknown whether this medication passes into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding and taking this medicine, it might affect your baby. Discuss with your healthcare provider whether you should continue breastfeeding while taking this medication.
  • Not for Children: The effects of this medication on children need to be better studied. It’s precarious for children under 6 years old, as they may be more sensitive to side effects like diarrhea. Therefore, it’s not recommended for children under 18 years old.
  • Allergic Reactions: Constella medication can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Symptoms may include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction after taking Constella.
  • Intestinal Obstruction: Constella is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction. If you experience symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or bloating, seek medical attention immediately, as these may indicate intestinal obstruction.

Precautions

  • Before starting Constella, inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have, especially gastrointestinal disorders or kidney problems.
  • Let your healthcare provider know about all the medications you’re currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and supplements, to avoid potential interactions.
  • Constella medication may cause diarrhea, so be cautious if you have a history of dehydration or electrolyte imbalances, and stay hydrated while taking it.
  • If you experience severe or persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, or rectal bleeding, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Constella hasn’t been studied extensively in pregnant or breastfeeding women, so consult your healthcare provider before using it if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Avoid giving Constella to children under 18 years old unless specifically instructed by a healthcare provider.
  • If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, Constella may not be suitable for you, as the capsules should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed.
  • Constella may cause dizziness or fatigue in some individuals, so avoid activities that require mental alertness until you know how it affects you.

Constella Contraindications

  • If you are allergic to Linaclotide or any ingredients of the medication.
  • If you have a known/suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction.
  • If you are pediatric patients younger than six years of age.

Missed Dose

  • If you miss a dose of Constella, take it when you remember. 
  • Skip the missed one if it is time for your next planned dose and continue with your standard dosing plan. 
  • Avoid doubling the dose to compensate for a missed one.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your Constella medication and are unsure about when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Overdose

Overdosing on Constella may lead to an exacerbation of side effects, including severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, or dehydration. It’s essential to adhere strictly to the prescribed dosage and not exceed the recommended amount of Constella. Keep Constella out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose of Constella, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Keep Constella capsules in the original container tightly closed to protect them from moisture.
  • Store it at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). 
  • Avoid exposing the medicine to excessive heat or direct sunlight. 
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets. 
  • Do not transfer Constella medication to a different container unless directed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. 
  • Discard the unused capsules according to local regulations or as instructed by your pharmacist.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional the proper disposal of any unused Constella medication and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Constella Interactions

  • Opioid analgesics (such as Morphine, Oxycodone)
  • Antidiarrheal agents (such as Loperamide)
  • Proton pump inhibitors (such as Omeprazole, Esomeprazole)
  • Antacids (such as Aluminum hydroxide, Magnesium hydroxide)
  • CYP3A4 inhibitors (such as Ketoconazole, Clarithromycin)
  • CYP3A4 inducers (such as Rifampin, Carbamazepine)
  • Anticholinergic medications (such as Atropine, Scopolamine)

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Constella. Tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Constella Alternatives

[Note: Your healthcare provider will choose the best alternative for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I take Constella?

You should take Constella once daily, ideally at a consistent time each day. It’s best to take the capsule at least 30 minutes before food. Swallow the capsule whole with a drink of water. Remember that taking it on an empty stomach reduces the likelihood of diarrhea as a side effect.

How long does Constella medication take to work?

Constella medication typically starts to work within 1 to 2 weeks of consistent use. However, individual responses may vary. If you have any concerns or experience persistent symptoms, it’s essential to consult your doctor for personalized advice.

Can I take Constella during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Constella should not be taken during pregnancy if you suspect you might be pregnant or if you are planning to have a baby unless your doctor specifically advises you to do so. Limited information is available regarding the effects of Constella in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Can Constella cause weight loss or gain?

Constella is not typically associated with significant weight changes. However, individual responses can vary. Some people may experience mild weight fluctuations due to factors like changes in bowel habits or fluid balance. If you notice any substantial weight changes while taking Constella, it’s essential to discuss this with your doctor. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation.

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