I have been having a serious problem with constipation during the past year. It is so bad I am lucky if I go every ten days. I am in almost constant pain from it. I have been taking 2 colace a say for months, eating tons of veggies and fiber, and I drink lots of fluids. My GP added Amitiza today. Does anyone have experience with this medication? How fast does it work? Will it give me severe cramps? Anything else you can tell me would be appreciated

Hi jonchri,

I have not taken Amitzia, but have asked my doctor about it. He said it is a very good med for people dealing with narcotic constipation, I know that there are some other meds, like Savella, that can also have this effect. I looked over your profile and don't see any indication of a cause there. May I ask if it's CIC (cause unknown) or meds?

Stool softeners are a good way to go, and I also take plant based digestive enzymes, which help break down the food. The best is Spectrazyme. Ten days is a danger, you need to do something that works.

I'm not sure of the cost of Amitzia, but when I see the patient program to help you afford it, it tells me it's a lot! It would help if you could tell me cause and what you've tried.

I have been taking 2 doc-colace a day for months with absolute no relief. I took the amitiza last night and it works great. But I am afraid of whether or not it is habit forming. It is CIC so far. Doc has recommended I see a GI, have an MRI and a colonoscopy (sounds painful) because of all the pain I have. She is concerned because I had a hole in my intestine when I was younger caused by endometriosis.

That would be a question best answered by your Doctor.

I have no experience with this medication. However, constipation for me is a chronic issue.

First, it's my gastroenterologist that manages that part. When Sjogrens took center stage for me following a serious fall wherein my spine took a direct hit, I was already on 3 stool softeners every night. I have diverticulitis. And colonoscopy revealed polyps, etc.

Following full gastro workup AND spine workup - short story in my case it is a combination of pelvic floor dysfunction, patchy chronic inflammation, spine related nerve problem in sacrum, etc.

Sjogrens didn't help matters, given that it is a systemic disease which affects the exocrine system (moisture producing glands) and yes, there is mucus production in the bowels. Well when it gets too thick (much like our saliva quality with SJS), things don't move along so well.

I can't do a lot of fiber, as it clogs up the works. My rheumy also is involved on his part and the best advice he gave me was get off gluten and on fresh organic as much as possible.

Meanwhile, Miralax was added. It's been a year and a half on that dietary changes (which come to find out through trial and error that soy and corn are also problematic for me) and finally I am able to cut back on the miralax.

Bottom line - my suggestion would be to ask your GP for a gastro consult.

Constipation can have a number of causes. Treating the symptom without getting to the root cause doesn't resolve the problem, merely covers it up.

So my suggestion, apart from your GPs recommendation, would be to request a gastro consult. Gut is too important to mess with.

Also, as a sidebar, I don't know if you have thyroid problems or not, but I do and when my levels go hypo I have more problems with constipation.

Here's a link to info on Amitizia:

Hi jonchri,

I have been on Amitiza for three years. I see a GI who’s a motility specialist and think he’s done every test imaginable and even a few you don’t want to imagine! We think my constipation is more neuro related than Sjogrens. The only problem I’ve ever experienced with Amitiza is that it caused a lot of “rumblings” but not much stool. I then had bethanechol added, but not much results. Now I’m the Amitiza 24mcg and Linzess 145mcg and that’s the right combo for me. I’ve had pelvic floor therapy, 2 rectocele surgeries and a few months ago surgery for an anal tear that was down to the muscle, that was extremely painful. All these were caused by constipation and hard stools, so don’t let it get to that point. I believe the Amitiza is relatively safe, but as always talk to your doctor if you still have concerns. Wishing you the best and don’t give up, there’s a treatment out there that will work! Oh, a colonoscopy isn’t painful at all, you are usually sedated and wake up remembering nothing!

Hi Jonchri

My daughter has suffered from chronic constipation since birth, she is now 11yrs. She takes Movicol, which works very well. After 3 years of taking daily, with about 3 bouts of acute constipation due to forgetting to to take Movicol, she is now relatively symptom free and only has to take as needed. I hope this helps, in New Zealand it is fully funded with a special authority. Best of luck.

Hi Jonchri,

I have also had issues with constipation and diarrhea, depending on the day. A couple of years ago, they removed 3/4 of my large intestine as I was having serious pain, and it (my intestine) was "Kinking" up allowing nothing to get through.

About a year ago, I started having issues with constipation, and everyone just blamed it on the surgery, told me to take fiber, and try and find my own balance with Miralax. I also went to the GI, who told me that everything is fine.

I have been making a lot of smoothies with fiber in them, and that seems to really help me move along more regularly. Orange juice, greek yogurt, and frozen fruit. I will buy organic whenever I can.

I hope you feel well soon.


BTW, taking probiotics daily help.