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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

FDA approves drug to treat constipation

STOMACH

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Thursday approved a drug from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. to treat certain types of irritable bowel syndrome in adults, marking the company's first product approval.

The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Linzess, was approved to treat IBS with constipation as well as another condition called chronic idiopathic constipation. 

Linzess is a capsule meant to be taken once daily on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day. The FDA said the product helps relieve constipation. For patients with irritable bowel syndrome, it might also ease abdominal pain, the agency said.

Chronic idiopathic constipation is a diagnosis given to patients who experience persistent constipation and don't respond to standard treatment. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 63 million Americans suffer from chronic constipation and an estimated 15 million people are diagnosed with IBS.

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