Johanson, J.F., Morton, D., Geenen, J., & Ueno, R. (2008). Multicenter, 4-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of lubiprostone, a locally-acting type-2 chloride channel activator, in patients with chronic constipation. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 103, 170–177.doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01524.x
To assess the efficacy and safety of lubiprostone 24 mcg BID in patients with chronic constipation.
Patients were randomized to receive either oral lubiprostone 24-mcg capsules or placebo capsules. Patients continued to record information regarding bowel movements (BMs), use of rescue medications, and symptoms on a daily basis. Study drug capsules were counted to assess compliance every two weeks. Rescue medication comprised bisacodyl suppository and fleet enema if the suppository was not effective. Efficacy was defined as the frequency of spontaneous BMs during the first and subsequent study weeks. Patients were followed for four weeks.
This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial.
Taking lubiprostone improved frequency of spontaneous BMs and constipation-related symptoms, with low incidence of treatment-related adverse events.
Lubiprostone effectively improved constipation in this study; however, applicability to patients with cancer is not clear. Nausea was the most common side effect, which could limit its use in patients with cancer, who may be on other medications and treatments that also cause nausea. Research involving patients with cancer-related constipation should be considered.