NOTE: On March 30, 2007, the FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that Novartis had agreed to discontinue marketing tegaserod (Zelnorm) for the short-term treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and for patients younger than 65 years of age with chronic constipation. FDA analysis of safety data pooled from 29 clinical trials involving over 18,000 patients showed an excess number of serious cardiovascular adverse events, including angina, heart attacks, and stroke, in patients taking tegaserod (Zelnorm) compared to patients taking placebo.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay Marks, M.D.
Pharmacy Author: Emmanuel Saltiel, Pharm.D.
Medical Editor: Jay Marks, M.D.
GENERIC NAME: tegaserod
BRAND NAME: Zelnorm
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Tegaserod is an oral medication for the treatment of constipation and constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women. IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort and altered bowel function which may be either constipation or diarrhea. As many as 20% of American adults may suffer from IBS.
Contractions of the intestinal muscles, primarily those of the colon, control the movement of food through the intestine. In constipated patients, there are fewer contractions than in persons without constipation. An important factor that controls the contractions is serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical manufactured by nerves in the intestine. It is released by the nerves and then travels and binds to receptors on the surface of nearby nerves. It is a "neurotransmitter," a chemical messenger, that is, a chemical that nerves use to communicate with each other. When it binds to receptors on the nerves that control contractions of the intestinal muscles, serotonin can either promote or prevent contractions depending on the type of receptor it binds to. Binding to some types of receptors causes contractions, and binding to other types of receptors blocks contractions.
Quick GuideIBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Symptoms, Diet, Treatment
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