Linzess is a medication prescribed to patients suffering from specific types of bowel disorders. One such malady is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation, and another is perpetual constipation from an unknown cause, referred to as chronic idiopathic constipation. Linaclotide is the generic name for the drug.
The symptoms of IBS and chronic idiopathic constipation may include bloating, abdominal pain, straining and a sense of incomplete bowel movement. Linaclotide acts to raise the fluid level in the intestines and accelerate the flow of food through the gut, thereby alleviating the symptoms. The typical instruction is to ingest Linzess once per day, but heed your doctor’s advice.
Constipation in Senior Adults
The rifeness of constipation tends to increase with age and is a common complaint among Medicare recipients. An article published by the National Institutes of Health states that among those at least 65 years old, constipation is rampant for 26% of women and 16% of men. Findings among those age 84 years and older reveal a prevalence of constipation for 34% of women and 26% of men. This increases dramatically to 80% of long-term care residents.
To avoid constipation as we age, some people shift toward a well-balanced diet with good sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole-grain carbohydrates. Drinking more water and less caffeine along with exercising regularly helps too. Talk to your personal physician or nutritionist to find out if changing some lifestyle habits might make a difference for you.
With a higher risk for bowel disorders as we age, discuss any changes you experience with your physician so that the appropriate screenings and treatments can be performed.
Medicare Benefits for Pharmaceuticals
Drug coverage is offered to all Medicare recipients under Medicare Part D. Medicare recipients can enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan as an add-on to Original Medicare. Enrollment in Part A and/or Part B is a prerequisite. Another option is to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), which is often, but not always, all-inclusive for Parts A, B and D. However, Medicare Advantage and Part D vary in cost and coverage depending on location and plan. If you plan to move, remember to alert your plan administrator and confirm the Medicare benefits in the new destination. Most Part C and Part D plans across the country cover Linzess.
Within each plan, drugs are categorized by tiers. The Medicare recipient’s out-of-pocket cost is tied to several factors, including the tier in which the drug is listed, whether or not the pharmacy is in network, if the purchase is through bulk mail order and the amount of the plan deductible. If you are unable to afford your prescription, there is a program known as Extra Help that may subsidize the cost based on your means.