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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Tenapanor belongs to the class of medications called sodium/hydrogen ion exchanger 3 (NHE3) inhibitors. It is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

This medication works by decreasing the amount of sodium that the bowels absorb, which in turn increases the amount of fluid in the bowels. This action causes the stool to be softer, so the material in the intestines and colon can pass through the digestive system more quickly. This increases the number of bowel movements and helps to ease stomach pain.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of tenapanor is 50 mg (one tablet) taken by mouth, twice a day. It should be taken immediately before eating breakfast or the first meal of the day, and again immediately before dinner. Swallow the tablets whole with some water. Do not crush or chew the tablets.

Tenapanor is most effective when it is taken right before you start eating.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, in its original bottle, and protect it from light and moisture. Keep it out of the reach of children.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each tablet contains 50 mg of tenapanor as tenapanor hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, low- substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, propyl gallate, stearic acid, tartaric acid, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to tenapanor or any ingredients of the medication
  • have or may have a blockage in the digestive system

Do not give this medication to children under 6 years old.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to tenapanor or any ingredients of the medication
  • have or may have a blockage in the digestive system

Do not give this medication to children under 6 years old.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • abdominal pain
  • abnormal sounds from stomach
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • gas
  • stuffy nose or cold-like symptoms (e.g., sore or scratchy throat, nasal congestion, runny nose)
  • urgent need to pass stools

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • severe diarrhea

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Kidney function: Diarrhea, including severe diarrhea, is more common for people who have decreased kidney function. If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: Very little of this medication is absorbed into the body, however the safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been determined for use during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if tenapanor passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: Children under 6 years old may be at a greater risk of experiencing life-threatening dehydration. The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children. The use of this medication is not recommended for people under 18 years old.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

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