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FDA approves anti-constipation pill from Sucampo

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday that they received U.S. regulatory to market their constipation treatment Amitiza for a new use.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill for constipation caused by opioid pain medications used by patients with non-cancer chronic pain.

More than 200 million people in U.S. receive an opioid prescription each year, according to the companies. About 40 to 80 percent of patients who take the drugs for non-cancer chronic pain experience constipation, according to medical literature cited by the companies.

The FDA previously approved the drug for two other uses: chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adult women.

Shares of Bethesda, Md.-based Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose 57 cents, or 8.4 percent, to $7.39 in trading Tuesday.