Plecanatide

Plecanatide is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and constipation in which the cause of the constipation is not known. The most common side effect is diarrhea.

Plecanatide Overview

Reviewed: March 29, 2017
Updated: 

Plecanatide is a prescription medication used to treat adults with chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Plecanatide belongs to a group of drugs called guanylate cyclase-C agonists. These drugs work by increasing the movement of food and waste through the intestines and stomach.

This medication comes in a tablet form and is taken by mouth typically once daily, with or without food.

Swallow tablets whole. Do not split or chew tablets. 

The most common side effect of plecanatide is diarrhea.

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Uses of Plecanatide

Plecanatide is a prescription medication used to treat chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

Constipation means having difficulty or infrequent passage of stools and "idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is not known.

It is not known if this medication is safe and effective in those younger than 18 years of age.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Plecanatide Brand Names

Plecanatide may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Side Effects of Plecanatide

Serious side effects have been reported with plecanatide. See the “Plecanatide Precautions” section.

Common side effects of plecanatide include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach bloating
  • Sinusitis (inflammation of nasal passages)
  • Upper respiratory tract infections such as sore throat and common cold
  • Stomach tenderness and gas
  • Liver problems

Diarrhea is the most common side effect. In some cases, diarrhea may be severe.

Diarrhea often begins within the first 4 weeks of treatment. If you experience severe diarrhea, it is recommended you stop taking this medication and call your doctor right away. 

This is not a complete list of plecanatide side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Plecanatide Interactions

No drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Plecanatide Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with plecanatide including the following:

  • Life-threatening dehydration. plecanatide should not be taken by patients less than 6 years of age.
  • Plecanatide should be avoided in patients 6 years to less than 18 years of age. No data on safety and effectiveness in this group of patients.
  • Severe diarrhea. Stop taking plecanatide and call your doctor if you develop severe diarrhea.

Do not take Trulance:

  • If you are allergic to plecanatide or to any of its ingredients
  • To children who are less than 6 years of age
  • If a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction)

Plecanatide Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of plecanatide, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking plecanatide, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to plecanatide or to its ingredients
  • have blockage in your stomach or intestines
  • have liver problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Plecanatide and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with plecanatide.

In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication, but may not be representative of humans. 

As a result, it is not known if this medication will harm your unborn baby.

Plecanatide and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if plecanatide crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk for both mom and baby when using plecanatide during breastfeeding.

Plecanatide Usage

Take plecanatide exactly as prescribed.

  • Take plecanatide at around the same time every day.
  • Take plecanatide by mouth, one time each day with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses of plecanatide at the same time.

Swallow plecanatide tablets whole.

  • If you have difficulties swallowing, plecanatide tablets can be crushed and given orally either in applesauce or dissolved in water before swallowing.
  • Plecanatide tablets may also be taken with water by adults through a nasogastric or gastric feeding tube.
  • It is not known if this medication is safe and will work if crushed and mixed with other foods or dissolved in other liquids besides applesauce or water. 

Taking plecanatide in applesauce:

  • Crush the tablet in a clean container until it is in powder form and mix with 1 teaspoon of room temperature applesauce.
  • Swallow all of mixture immediately. And do not keep the mixture for future use.

Taking plecanatide in water:

  • Place the tablet in a clean cup and pour 1 ounce (30 mL) of room temperature water into the cup.
  • Gently swirl the tablet in the water for at least 10 seconds. (The tablet will fall apart in the water)
  • Swallow all of the tablet and water mixture right away. And do not keep the mixture for future use.

Note: If you see any part of the tablet left in the cup, you can add another 1 ounce (30 mL) of water to the cup, swirl for at least 10 seconds, and swallow right away.

Taking plecanatide through a nasogastric or gastric feeding tube:

  • Gather the supplies you will need to take your medication.
  • Your doctor should tell you what size catheter tipped syringe you will need for your dose.
  • Place the tablet in a clean cup with 1 ounce (30 mL) of room temperature water.
  • Gently swirl the tablet and water for at least 15 seconds. (The tablet will fall apart in the water)
  • Flush the nasogastric or gastric feeding tube with 1 ounce (30 mL) of water.
  • Draw up the tablet and water mixture into a catheter tipped syringe and give right away through the nasogastric or gastric feeding tube. And do not keep the mixture for future use.
  • If you see any part of the tablet left in the cup, you can add another 1 ounce (30 mL) of water to the cup, swirl for at least 15 seconds and use the same catheter tipped syringe to give the mixture through the nasogastric or gastric feeding tube.
  • Using the same or another catheter tipped syringe, flush the nasogastric or gastric feeding tube with at least 10 mL of water.

Plecanatide Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended dose of plecanatide when treating chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation is 3mg taken orally once daily.

Plecanatide Overdose

If you take too much plecanatide, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store plecanatide at room temperature.
  • Keep plecanatide in a dry place.
  • Protect plecanatide from moisture.
  • For bottles, keep plecanatide in the original bottle. Do not remove desiccant from the bottle.
  • Store plecanatide out of reach of children.
  • Keep all appointments with your health acre provider and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain tests to check your body's response to this medication.