People suffering from chronic constipation now have an out-of-the-box drug-free option in the form of vibrating pills.

Similar in size to a regular-sized pill, the pill vibrates after it’s swallowed to stimulate the colon, instead of releasing medication.

Called Vibrant, the capsules were cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration in August. The pills have now become available for doctors to prescribe, starting this week, according to CNN.

A person having fewer than three bowel movements in a week is said to be constipated. According to an estimate, between 10% to 20% of Americans have persistent constipation with no explainable cause. Such people usually have hard, dry stools accompanied by pain and bloating.

“Millions of chronic idiopathic constipation patients continue to use laxatives chronically with little to no relief of their recurring symptoms,” Vibrant Gastro CEO Ben-Tsur said, MedicalDesigningAndOutsourcing reported. “Vibrant provides the sufferers with an additional treatment option that is effective, safe, and drug-free.”

The Vibrant pill is advised to be taken around bedtime every day. Following ingestion, the pill moves through the gastrointestinal tract, the same way food does. After traveling through the stomach and small intestine, the pill reaches the large intestine in 14 hours.

In the gut, the pills stimulate specialized nerve cells called mechanosensory cells. These cells regulate peristalsis, the muscle contractions that move the food through the gut.

“There are little vibrations for three seconds on, three seconds off,” Cathy Collis, chief commercial officer for Vibrant Gastro, which is based in Israel, said.

Each pill needs to be activated in a little pod before it is swallowed. After it is consumed, the pill switches between activation and deactivation. It stays active for two hours after it is swallowed and then quiets down for around six hours, only to activate again for another two hours.

In the end, the pills come out with the feces, and they’re flushed away. Once flushed out, the pills reach the sewage, where they are sifted out and sent to a landfill as non-compostable material.

However, it should be noted these capsules are not a cure. To be taken daily, the pills are similar to maintenance treatments.

The Vibrant pills are claimed to be made of a medical-grade material, which has been used for the past 15 years in pill cameras used by gastroenterologists.

The clinical trial on the Vibrant pill gave encouraging results. About 40% of the group taking the Vibrant pills had at least one additional bowel movement a week, compared with about 23% of the placebo group, the study found. The group taking Vibrant pills also reported softer stools and less bloating.

“One of the important side effects that it does not have is diarrhea, as a lot of the prescription drugs can lead to diarrhea,” Dr. Eamonn Quigley, chief of gastroenterology at Houston Methodist Hospital, noted.