Disease Overview

CIC Poses Challenges for Both Patients
and Healthcare Providers

CIC patients experience varying rates of constipation symptoms that may include1,2:

  • infrequent stools (<3 bowel movements per week)
  • straining
  • incomplete bowel movements
  • hard or lumpy stools
  • discomfort
  • bloating

In some patients, constipation may lead to medical complications, such as hemorrhoids, anal fissure, fecal impaction, and rectal prolapse.3

There is also considerable overlap in the symptoms of CIC and IBS-C, which may create challenges for physicians in diagnosing and treating patients.1


A sizable proportion of the population is affected by CIC 4

Constipation is one of the most common GI complaints, with an estimated pooled prevalence of 14% of the global population. It is found more commonly in women than men and increases slightly with age.4


Persistent Symptoms and Treatment-Related adverse events may leave patients dissatisfied with current options5

Many patients attempt to manage CIC symptoms with improved diet, fiber, and over-the-counter laxatives; however, these options can be ineffective or may not provide long-term relief. For those patients with persistent symptoms, prescription therapy is recommended.5

Many patients taking prescription medications fail to respond to therapy, or suffer from treatment-related adverse events, such as nausea and diarrhea.6

Next: IBS-C


  1. Heidelbaugh JJ, Stelwagon M, Miller SA, Shea EP, Chey WD. The spectrum of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and chronic idiopathic constipation: US survey assessing symptoms, care seeking, and disease burden. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015;110:580-587.
  2. Longstreth GF, Thompson WG, Chey WD, Houghton LA, Mearin F, Spiller RC. Functional bowel disorders. Gastroenterology. 2006;130:1480-1491.
  3. Mayo Clinic website. Diseases and conditions. Constipation: complications. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/basics/complications/con-20032773. Accessed April 28, 2016.
  4. Suares NC, Ford AC. Prevalence of, and risk factors for, chronic idiopathic constipation in the community: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011;106:1582-1591.
  5. Lacy BE, Levenick JM, Crowell M. Chronic constipation: new diagnostic and treatment approaches. Ther Adv Gastroenterol. 2012;5(4):233-247.
  6. Ford AC, Suares NC. Effect of laxatives and pharmacological therapies in chronic idiopathic constipation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Gut. 2011;60:209-218.