studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have ushered
in good news to those suffering from chronic constipation!
placebo-controlled study analyzes a new experimental medication, that is
believed to relieve the pain and bloating associated with persistent
The new drug, linoclotide relieved chronic constipation in up to 21%, compared
to the 6% who gained relief from a placebo.
constipation is common among women, the elderly and in those suffering from
irritable bowel syndrome. According to
statistics, one in five Americans suffer from this condition and had fewer than
three bowel movements a week for long periods, the least being three
Anthony J. Lembo, MD, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center in Boston, remarks that linoclotide
works in an unique fashion in that it
stimulates cells in the bowel lining to produce secretions that help to draw
more fluid into the gut where the fluid helps to soften stool and hastens
Lembo cautions that "It won't help everybody, of course. Not all patients
have their symptoms relieved.There are a lot of different causes for
and Canada, researchers recruited more than 1,200 adults (approximately 600 in
each study) with histories of chronic constipation. These patients experienced
symptoms such as straining, lumpy stools, and a feeling of incomplete stool
trials, people were randomly assigned to any one of three groups:
on a lower daily dose of linoclotide,
those on a higher daily dose of linoclotide,
those who were unknowingly consuming a placebo.
were asked to take their capsules 30 minutes prior to breakfast each day for a
period of 12 weeks.The treatment was considered a success if the subject had at
least one bowel movement more than what he had earlier !
& Conclusion- In the first trial, 21% of the patients on the low drug dose
and 19% of patients on the high dose were successfully treated, in comparison
to the 3% who were taking the placebo.
second trial, 16% on the low dose and 21% on the higher dose were considered
successfully treated in comparison to the 6% who were taking the placebo.
think this is great, and the safety profile is terrific from everything that
they're showing," says Anthony Starpoli, a gastroenterologist at Lenox
Hill Hospital in New York City. who was not involved in the research. "Of
course, once this is implemented in clinical practice, sometimes the picture
The drug is not yet available to the needy as
it is waiting for FDA approval.
Tips to avoid constipation
Experts believe that lifestyle changes are
required until better treatments are available.
this is a very promising agent, we have to remember that we should be drinking
6-8 glasses of free fluid a day," Starpoli says, meaning non-dehydrating
and alcohol, which can cause the body to lose fluid, don't count.
Starpoli also encourages those suffering from
constipation to get more soluble fiber such as those in oatmeal, okra, and