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Focus on Making Your Health a Priority

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Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 4:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Wed Jan 15, 2014.

(BPT) - Millions of adults in North America suffer from chronic constipation. It may be a hard topic to discuss with your doctor. Everyone's body is different. One type of chronic constipation is chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Specifically, some of the characteristics for CIC are fewer than three bowel movements a week (in the absence of laxatives) with one or more of the following for at least six months: very hard stools, straining and feeling like your bowel is never completely empty. “Idiopathic” means the cause of constipation is unknown and not due to an underlying illness or medication.

For Stacy, a mom of four and full-time occupational therapist, living with CIC was frustrating and uncomfortable.

Stacy first sought help for her symptoms as a freshman in college. At that time, her doctor dismissed her symptoms, stating that they were probably due to her diet and busy student’s schedule. Years passed, and the symptoms persisted. She graduated from college, married, got a job and had a family. It wasn’t until after the birth of her fourth child that she decided to seek medical help again.

“I knew then that I needed to work with my doctor to do something about it and to make my health a priority,” explains Stacy.

Stacy explained her symptoms and history in detail to her primary care physician and was finally diagnosed with CIC. Together, they developed a plan to help Stacy manage her symptoms, which included taking Amitiza (lubiprostone), marketed in the United States by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., a drug that is approved to treat adults with CIC.

“If I could tell women anything, especially busy moms, I would tell them to put their health first by seeing their doctor, get a diagnosis and, if needed, get the appropriate treatment,” says Stacy.

Some lifestyle changes may help, including eating a well-balanced, healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising daily, reserving time for a bowel movement, and not ignoring your urge to have a bowel movement.

“There are a wide range of treatment options available, including the basics of diet, fiber and exercise. Therapy can include a variety of laxatives, stool softeners and lubricants, and, if appropriate, prescription medications, like Amitiza,” said Dr. Brooks D. Cash, Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. “People need to know that chronic constipation is a real issue. If you are suffering, see your doctor and get a medical evaluation to determine if there is a cause.”

About Amitiza (lubiprostone)

AMITIZA (lubiprostone) 24 mcg capsules twice daily is approved to treat Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) in adults. “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown and not due to an underlying illness or medication.

Important Safety Information

AMITIZA (lubiprostone) is not for everyone. If you know or suspect you have a bowel blockage, do not take AMITIZA. If you are unsure, your healthcare provider (HCP) should evaluate your condition before starting AMITIZA. You should not take AMITIZA if you have severe diarrhea.

Some patients taking AMITIZA may experience nausea or diarrhea. If nausea occurs, take AMITIZA with food and water, if it becomes severe, tell your HCP. If your diarrhea becomes severe, stop taking AMITIZA and tell your HCP.

Within an hour of taking AMITIZA, a sensation of chest tightness and shortness of breath may occur. These symptoms usually go away within three hours, but may recur with repeated use. Tell your HCP if you experience these symptoms.

The most common side effects of taking AMITIZA (24 mcg) twice daily are nausea, diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, abdominal distension, and gas for patients treated for CIC. These are not all the side effects associated with AMITIZA.

Tell your HCP if you are taking a diphenylheptane opioid (e.g., methadone).

AMITIZA has not been studied in pregnant women. Based on animal studies, AMITIZA may cause fetal harm. AMITIZA should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefits justify the potential risk to the fetus. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while being treated with AMITIZA, talk to your HCP to evaluate the risks to the fetus. Tell your HCP if you are nursing and monitor infants for diarrhea.

Tell your HCP if you have liver problems.

Please see complete Prescribing Information for Amitiza and visit www.amitiza.com.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more tips on managing chronic constipation, talk to your doctor and please visit www.Amitiza.com.

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