Lubiprostone is recommended as a possible treatment for people with chronic idiopathic constipation:

  • who have previously been treated with 2 different types of laxatives at the highest possible recommended dose, for at least 6 months, but these haven't worked well enough, and
  • when invasive treatment is being considered.

If treatment with lubiprostone has not worked after 2 weeks, your doctor will talk to you about whether or not you should keep taking this medicine. Lubiprostone should only be prescribed for you by a doctor who is experienced in treating chronic idiopathic constipation, after they have carefully considered your previous treatments.

What does this mean for me?

If you have chronic idiopathic constipation, and your doctor thinks lubiprostone is the right treatment, you should be able to have the treatment on the NHS. Lubiprostone should be available on the NHS within 3 months of the guidance being issued.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

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