Linaclotide (Constella) is now available for the symptomatic treatment of moderate to severe irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in adults.

Linaclotide is a first in class Guanylate Cyclase-C agonist (GCCA) that has been shown in clinical trials to treat multiple symptoms of IBS-C, including abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and constipation. Linaclotide has a dual mechanism of action and acts locally in the gastrointestinal tract. It is the only medication licensed by the European Commission specifically for IBS-C.

Current options are limited to treatments for individual symptoms such as antispasmodics or unlicensed antidepressants for pain and laxatives for constipation. It is recognised that laxatives can themselves cause pain or bloating as side effects and antispasmodics and anti-depressants may worsen constipation.

Linaclotide is a once-daily capsule for the management of patients with multiple symptoms of IBS with constipation.

“The availability of linaclotide is good news for GPs and their patients as it has the potential to address the multiple symptoms of IBS with constipation. There is some very interesting science underpinning linaclotide’s mode of action and it is exciting that a new treatment is now available for use. Linaclotide has good clinical evidence to support its use as well as having a favourable profile in terms of its safety, tolerability, cost effectiveness and a positive impact on quality of life for patients,” said Professor Eamonn Quigley, Gastroenterologist.

IBS can be a chronic, relapsing and often lifelong disorder, which is difficult to diagnose and treat. Affecting around one in ten of the UK’s adult population, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) include abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating and a change in bowel habit. IBS with constipation is characterised by multiple symptoms, the three main ones being abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating and constipation. IBS-C affects approximately one third of those diagnosed with IBS.