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Lubiprostone is used for the treatment of long-term constipation (chronic idiopathic constipation), opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adults with chronic non-cancer pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, a common disorder of the large intestine that causes abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation).

How it works

Lubiprostone belongs to a class of medications called laxatives. It activates proteins called chloride channels (ClC-2) in the intestine resulting in increased flow of fluids into the bowel and increased motility that facilitates easy passage of stools thereby relieving constipation and associated symptoms.

Common side effects

Abdominal bloating, Gastrointestinal discomfort, Abdominal pain, Chest discomfort, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Shortness of breath, Face redness, Warm sensation, Headache, Altered heart rate, Increased sweating, Indigestion, Limb swelling, Nausea, Tachycardia


Expert advice

  • Lubiprostone should preferably be taken with meals to reduce symptoms of nausea.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience severe diarrhea, breathlessness (dyspnea) or difficulty in breathing, chest pain, tightness in chest during treatment.
  • You should be thoroughly examined to confirm the absence of obstruction (e.g. gall stones, hernia, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, polyps, impacted bowel movement etc.) before starting lubiprostone treatment.
  • Lubiprostone is not recommended in children under 18 years of age.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is lubiprostone a steroid?
No. Lubiprostone does not have a chemical structure or mechanism of action similar to steroids.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)