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Linzess weight gain: What They Are and How to Manage Them

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What They Are and How to Manage Them

If you have a certain kind of digestive problem, your doctor might suggest Linzess as a treatment option for you.

Linzess is a prescription medication that’s used to treat the following conditions in adults:

  • irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C)
  • chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), which is constipation without a known cause

The active ingredient in Linzess is linaclotide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Linzess comes as a capsule that you swallow.

If your doctor determines that Linzess is safe and effective for your condition, you may use this drug long term.

For more information about Linzess, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article on the drug.

Like other drugs, Linzess capsules can cause mild to serious side effects. Keep reading to learn more.

Some people may experience mild or serious side effects during their Linzess treatment. Examples of common side effects in people using Linzess for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) include:

  • diarrhea*
  • belly pain
  • gas
  • bloating*

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Linzess in studies. Some side effects can vary depending on which condition the drug is being used to treat.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

Examples of mild side effects that have been reported with Linzess include:

  • belly pain
  • bloating*
  • gas
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)*
  • headache*
  • mild diarrhea*
  • upper respiratory infection*

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be managed, too. But if you have any symptoms that are ongoing or bother you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And don’t stop taking Linzess unless your doctor recommends it.

Linzess may cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. See the Linzess prescribing information for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Linzess, visit MedWatch.

Serious side effects may occur in people taking Linzess. These may include:

  • severe diarrhea*
  • allergic reaction*†

If you develop serious side effects while taking Linzess, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Linzess. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about side effects of Linzess.

Does Linzess cause weight gain or weight loss?

No, Linzess doesn’t cause weight gain or weight loss. But it can cause diarrhea, which in some cases may lead to weight loss. On the other hand, Linzess may cause bloating, which could lead to weight gain.

Some people who have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) may experience weight gain or weight loss related to their condition.

For example, some people with IBS-C may have trouble tolerating certain foods or absorbing nutrients. This may lead to weight loss.

If you’re concerned about changes in your weight while taking Linzess, talk with your doctor.

When do side effects from Linzess go away?

How long side effects of Linzess last may depend on several factors, including which side effect you have and how your body responds to Linzess.

Diarrhea is the most common side effect of Linzess. In one study, diarrhea improved within 1 week for some people taking Linzess. But how long diarrhea or other side effects last for you can vary.

If you experience side effects from Linzess that are bothersome or don’t go away, talk with your doctor.

Does Linzess cause fatigue?

No, Linzess doesn’t cause fatigue (low energy). This wasn’t a side effect seen in studies of Linzess. But it’s possible that other medications used to treat IBS-C or chronic idiopathic constipation may cause fatigue. Examples of these drugs include Amitiza (lubiprostone) and Motegrity (prucalopride).

If you experience fatigue while taking Linzess or other drugs for your condition, talk with your doctor.

Do side effects of Linzess vary depending on the strength (72 mcg, 145 mcg, or 290 mcg)?

In some cases, yes. For example, diarrhea was the most commonly reported side effect in studies of Linzess. The risk of having this side effect was higher in people who took 290 micrograms (mcg) of Linzess per day than in those who took lower doses.

Also, certain side effects, such as viral gut infections and headache, were only reported in people taking a daily dosage of 290 mcg.

If you have bothersome side effects from Linzess, talk with your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage to help relieve your side effects.

Does Linzess cause hair loss?

No, hair loss is not a side effect of Linzess. But some people may experience hair loss related to IBS-C, which Linzess treats.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, talk with your doctor.

Could I experience depression during my Linzess treatment?

No, Linzess isn’t known to cause depression. This wasn’t reported as a side effect in people taking Linzess in studies.

Other medications used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation or chronic idiopathic constipation may cause mood changes, including depression. Examples of these other drugs include Amitiza (lubiprostone) and Motegrity (prucalopride).

Also, it’s possible that IBS-C may raise your risk of developing mood conditions, including anxiety and depression.

If you’re experiencing mood changes such as depression, talk with your doctor.

Learn more about some of the side effects Linzess may cause.

Diarrhea

Some people taking Linzess may experience diarrhea. This was the most common side effect reported in studies of people taking Linzess. In most cases, diarrhea began within the first 2 weeks of starting Linzess treatment.

Symptoms of diarrhea include:

  • loose or watery stools
  • belly cramping or pain
  • bloating

You may also experience nausea or vomiting with diarrhea.

In some cases, diarrhea can be severe. Symptoms of severe diarrhea may include fever, severe belly pain, and bloody or dark stools. You have a higher risk of severe diarrhea from Linzess if you take higher doses.

Severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration. Tell your doctor right away if you think you might be dehydrated due to diarrhea. Severe dehydration is a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • headache
  • increased thirst
  • lightheadedness
What might help

If you have symptoms of severe diarrhea, stop taking Linzess and call your doctor right away. They may adjust your Linzess dosage or have you switch to a different treatment.

If you have mild diarrhea while taking Linzess, staying hydrated is important. You can do this by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water and electrolyte replacement drinks.

Over-the-counter medications, such as Imodium A-D (loperamide), may help relieve your diarrhea. But be sure to first ask your doctor or pharmacist if Imodium A-D is safe for you to take.

Headache

Linzess may cause headache in some people. This was a common side effect reported in studies of people taking Linzess for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

Headache was not reported in people taking Linzess for chronic idiopathic constipation.

What might help

Because headache may be a symptom of dehydration, drink plenty of fluids while you’re taking Linzess. Let your doctor know if you also have diarrhea and symptoms of dehydration. (To learn more, see the “Diarrhea” section directly above.)

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may help relieve your headache. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).

Before taking OTC medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn if they interact with other drugs you take or conditions you have.

Bloating

Bloating can occur during Linzess treatment. This was a side effect in studies of Linzess. With bloating, your belly is typically larger than usual, and you may have a feeling of fullness.

Bloating may be caused by a buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines.

What might help

Exercise and movement can sometimes help move your bowels and get rid of gas. This may help relieve bloating.

Some OTC medications, such as simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon, Phazyme), can also help relieve gas.

If your boating is bothersome or causes excessive pain, talk with your doctor.

Upper respiratory infection

Linzess may cause upper respiratory infection (such as the common cold) in some people. In studies of Linzess, this was a common side effect reported in people taking Linzess to treat chronic idiopathic constipation. Upper respiratory infection wasn’t reported in people taking Linzess for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

An upper respiratory infection may be caused by a virus or bacteria. Typically, it affects your nose, throat, sinuses, windpipe, or bronchi (the airways that connect your windpipe to your lungs).

Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection can include:

  • cough
  • headache
  • congestion or pressure in the nose
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
What might help

Upper respiratory tract infections typically go away without antibiotics. But certain over-the-counter drugs may help relieve your symptoms.

For example, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin), or fexofenadine (Allegra) can help relieve runny nose and sneezing. Antihistamines can also help relieve coughing caused by nasal drainage into your throat.

Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) or phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) may help relieve sinus congestion and pressure.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) may help relieve headache or sore throat.

Some of these medications come as combination products that treat multiple symptoms.

Before taking OTC medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help make sure the OTC drugs are safe for you to take and won’t interact with your other medications.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can occur with Linzess treatment. In studies, GERD was a rare side effect reported in people taking Linzess to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. GERD wasn’t reported in people taking Linzess to treat chronic idiopathic constipation.

With GERD, the contents of your stomach go up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach). This is also known as acid reflux.

What might help

GERD may cause a burning sensation or pain in your chest. Certain OTC medications may help relieve these symptoms.

Antacids such as Tums or Maalox can help relieve mild GERD symptoms. Acid reducers, such as Pepcid (famotidine) or Tagamet HB (cimetidine), may help decrease the amount of acid your stomach makes. And stronger medications, such as Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole), can block your stomach from making acid.

Before taking OTC medications to relieve GERD symptoms, discuss all medications you take with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help make sure the OTC medications don’t interact with other drugs you take.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Linzess can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies, but it was reported after the drug became available for use.

Symptoms can be mild to serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:

  • an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • a topical product, such as hydrocortisone cream

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Linzess, they’ll decide if you should continue using it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Linzess, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Linzess treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking new drugs or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how it affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Linzess affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Linzess comes with several warnings, including a boxed warning.

Boxed warning: Risk of serious dehydration in children younger than 2 years old

Linzess has a boxed warning for the risk of serious dehydration in children younger than 2 years old. This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Linzess was not tested in children younger than 2 years. But it was tested in animal studies. These studies showed that Linzess raised the risk of dehydration due to severe diarrhea in young mice. In some cases, severe dehydration was fatal in these animals.

Linzess should not be used in children younger than 2 years old. It’s important to note that Linzess is only approved for use in adults.

If you have questions about this warning, talk with your doctor.

Other warnings

Linzess may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These are known as drug-condition interactions. Other factors may also affect whether Linzess is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before starting Linzess. The list below includes factors to consider.

Bowel blockage. Linzess can make your digestive tract move more quickly than usual. This can worsen a bowel blockage. Due to this risk, doctors may not prescribe Linzess if you have a bowel blockage. They’ll discuss other treatment options that are right for you.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Linzess or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Linzess. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.

Alcohol and Linzess

It may be safe to drink alcohol during your Linzess treatment. But keep in mind that Linzess can cause headaches and diarrhea. In some cases, diarrhea may lead to dehydration. And drinking alcohol can worsen these side effects.

If you have questions about alcohol use with Linzess, talk with your doctor. They can help determine how much alcohol may be safe for you to drink while taking this medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Linzess

It’s not known if it’s safe to take Linzess during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before starting Linzess treatment. They’ll let you know if this drug is safe for you to take or discuss other treatment options with you.

It’s not known if Linzess is safe to take while breastfeeding. Linzess isn’t thought to pass into breast milk. But it’s not known if Linzess affects your body’s ability to produce breast milk.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before taking Linzess.

As with most drugs, Linzess may cause side effects in some people. Some of the most common side effects of Linzess are mild and can be managed with over-the-counter treatments. Others can be more serious. If you have questions about your risk of certain side effects from Linzess, talk with your doctor.

Here are a few examples of questions to ask your doctor:

  • Based on my medical history and other factors, is Linzess safe for me to take?
  • Are there any long-term side effects of Linzess?
  • What are my options if Linzess doesn’t work for me?

Q:

Is vomiting a common side effect of Linzess?

Anonymous

A:

No, vomiting isn’t a common side effect of Linzess. In studies of people taking Linzess to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, vomiting was a rare side effect. And it wasn’t reported in people taking Linzess to treat chronic idiopathic constipation.

Vomiting can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a side effect of Linzess, or it may be a symptom of other conditions. Reflux medications, such as Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole), may help relieve vomiting related to GERD.

If you experience vomiting while taking Linzess, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on how to help relieve your symptoms.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Linzess and Weight gain, a phase IV clinical study of FDA data

Weight gain is found among people who take Linzess, especially for people who are female, 60+ old, have been taking the drug for 1 – 6 months.

The phase IV clinical study analyzes which people take Linzess and have Weight gain. It is created by eHealthMe based on reports of 19,186 people who have side effects when taking Linzess from the FDA, and is updated regularly. You can use the study as a second opinion to make health care decisions.

Phase IV trials are used to detect adverse drug outcomes and monitor drug effectiveness in the real world. With medical big data and AI algorithms, eHealthMe is running millions of phase IV trials and makes the results available to the public. Our original studies have been referenced on 600+ medical publications including The Lancet, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and Nature.



On May, 10, 2023

19,186 people reported to have side effects when taking Linzess.
Among them, 348 people (1.81%) have Weight gain.


What is Linzess?

Linzess has active ingredients of linaclotide. It is often used in constipation. eHealthMe is studying from 19,624 Linzess users for its effectiveness, alternative drugs and more.

What is Weight gain?

Weight gain is found to be associated with 3,948 drugs and 3,849 conditions by eHealthMe.

Number of Linzess and Weight gain reports submitted per year:


Time on Linzess when people have Weight gain *:

Click here to view

Gender of people who have Weight gain when taking Linzess*:

Click here to view

Age of people who have Weight gain when taking Linzess *:

Click here to view

Common drugs people take besides Linzess *:

Click here to view

Common side effects people have besides Weight gain *:

Click here to view

Common conditions people have *:

Click here to view

* Approximation only. Some reports may have incomplete information.

Do you take Linzess and have Weight gain?

Check whether Weight gain is associated with a drug or a condition


How to use the study?

You can discuss the study with your doctor, to ensure that all drug risks and benefits are fully discussed and understood.



Related publications that referenced our studies

  • Eslami Shahrbabaki M, Nasirian M, Eslami Shahrbabaki P, “Extreme Weight Gain due to Short-term Use of Low-dose Propranolol”, Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, 2015 Jan .

Related studies

How severe was Weight gain and when was it recovered:
  • Weight gain in Linzess
Expand to all the drugs that have ingredients of

linaclotide:

  • Weight gain and drugs with ingredients of linaclotide (361 reports)
Alternative drugs to, pros and cons of Linzess:
  • Linzess (19,624 reports)
Common Linzess side effects:
  • Diarrhea: 4,125 reports
  • Drug ineffective: 3,698 reports
  • Constipation: 1,267 reports
  • Abdominal pain: 881 reports
  • Fatigue (feeling of tiredness): 878 reports
  • Headache (pain in head): 779 reports
Browse all side effects of Linzess:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Weight gain treatments and more:
  • Weight gain (238,319 reports)
COVID vaccines that are related to Weight gain:
  • Weight gain in Moderna COVID Vaccine
  • Weight gain in Pfizer BioNTech Covid Vaccine
  • Weight gain in Johnson and Johnson Covid Vaccine
Common drugs associated with Weight gain:
  • Prednisone: 18,993 reports
  • Lyrica: 12,245 reports
  • Methotrexate: 11,836 reports
  • Risperdal: 9,118 reports
  • Aspirin: 8,715 reports
  • Humira: 8,227 reports
  • Metformin: 7,862 reports
  • Synthroid: 7,760 reports
  • Enbrel: 6,641 reports
  • Abilify: 6,390 reports
All the drugs that are associated with Weight gain:
  • Weight gain (3,948 drugs)
Common conditions associated with Weight gain:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: 16,063 reports
  • Depression: 10,701 reports
  • High blood pressure: 8,581 reports
  • Pain: 7,919 reports
  • Crohn’s disease: 7,365 reports
  • Multiple sclerosis: 6,565 reports
  • Birth control: 6,336 reports
All the conditions that are associated with Weight gain:
  • Weight gain (3,849 conditions)

How the study uses the data?

The study uses data from the FDA. It is based on linaclotide (the active ingredients of Linzess) and Linzess (the brand name). Other drugs that have the same active ingredients (e.g. generic drugs) are not considered. Dosage of drugs is not considered in the study.

Who is eHealthMe?

With medical big data and proven AI algorithms, eHealthMe provides a platform for everyone to run phase IV clinical trials. We study millions of patients and 5,000 more each day. Results of our real-world drug study have been referenced on 600+ medical publications, including The Lancet, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and Nature. Our analysis results are available to researchers, health care professionals, patients (testimonials), and software developers (open API).

WARNING, DISCLAIMER, USE FOR PUBLICATION

WARNING: Please DO NOT STOP MEDICATIONS without first consulting a physician since doing so could be hazardous to your health.

DISCLAIMER: All material available on eHealthMe. com is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. All information is observation-only. Our phase IV clinical studies alone cannot establish cause-effect relationship. Different individuals may respond to medication in different ways. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. The use of the eHealthMe site and its content is at your own risk.

If you use this eHealthMe study on publication, please acknowledge it with a citation: study title, URL, accessed date.

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