, Volume 56, Issue 9, pp 2639-2645,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Jul 2011

Long-Term Safety and Effectiveness of Lubiprostone, a Chloride Channel (ClC-2) Activator, in Patients with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation

Abstract

Background

Lubiprostone helps relieve constipation in short-term 4-week studies. There are limited data on long-term pharmacological treatment with lubiprostone for chronic idiopathic constipation.

Aims

To examine the long-term safety and effectiveness of lubiprostone in patients with chronic idiopathic constipation.

Methods

In this prospective, multicenter, open-labeled trial, 248 patients aged ≥18 years with chronic idiopathic constipation were directed to take lubiprostone 24 mcg BID as needed for 48 weeks. Patients were allowed to decrease the dose in response to the perceived severity of constipation and need for relief. Hematology and chemistry profiles and assessment of constipation symptoms and its severity were performed at all visits. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded.

Results

Of the 248 patients who entered the trial, 127 (51%) completed the trial. A dose reduction was observed in 17% of the patients, resulting in an average study medication exposure across the study of approximately 1.7 capsules (or approximately 40.8 mcg) per day. The most common treatment-related AEs were nausea (19.8%), diarrhea (9.7%), abdominal distension (6.9%), headache (6.9%), and abdominal pain (5.2%). No deaths were reported and of the 16 reported serious AEs, one was considered possibly treatment related. Average changes in serum electrolytes were not clinically relevant at any time point during the study. On average, lubiprostone significantly (p < 0.0001) reduced patient-reported constipation severity, abdominal bloating, and abdominal discomfort across 48 weeks when compared to baseline.

Conclusions

During this 48-week open-label study, lubiprostone was well tolerated. Bowel symptoms consistently improved over 48 weeks in adult patients with chronic idiopathic constipation.