Health Encyclopedia

 

Health Encyclopedia Home



New Drug May Treat Constipation Caused by Strong Painkillers

New Drug May Treat Constipation Caused by Strong Painkillers

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug holds promise as a safe and effective treatment for constipation caused by prescription narcotic painkillers, new research states.

Constipation is a common side effect experienced by patients taking these powerful medications for chronic pain. When laxatives failed to provide relief, two phase 3 trials found the once-daily drug naloxegol could help.

"The studies showed rapid and sustained improvement for these patients, without compromising their pain management," study author Dr. William Chey, a gastroenterologist and professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, said in a university news release.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as health agencies in Canada and Europe, are reviewing the drug for possible approval.

Naloxegol was specifically designed to treat constipation caused by the narcotic painkillers that are often used to treat chronic health issues, such as osteoarthritis and back pain. These medications ease patients' pain by binding to certain receptors in the brain, but they also bind to receptors in the bowel, which raises the risk of constipation.

Naloxegol works by preventing the painkillers from binding to receptors in the bowel, but not the brain, according to the news release.

One of the new studies involved 652 people. The other study included 700 participants. The patients were randomly assigned to receive one 12.5 milligram (mg) or one 25 mg dose of naloxegol daily, or an inactive placebo.

The researchers found the 25 mg dose of naloxegol increased bowel movements for patients throughout the 12 weeks of treatment.

Side effects of the drug included the following:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Gas

The findings were published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about constipation.

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, June 4, 2014

 
Related Items
Nutritional Supplement Advisor
  Cat's Claw
  Dong Quai
  Kelp
Daily News Feed
  Lymphoma Risk Varies for Celiac Disease Patients
  Health Tip: Ease Cramps From Irritable Bowel
  'Cruise Ship Virus' Vaccine a First-Class Idea?
  Crohn's and Colitis May Be Tied to Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke
  Health Tip: Establish Healthy Bowel Habits
  Germs That Inhabit Gut May Affect Colon Cancer Risk
  Common Infant Vaccine Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Bowel Complication
  Researchers Uncover the Secret Behind Bowel Movements
  Raised Risk of Heart Trouble Seen in Celiac Disease Patients
  Health Tip: Help Manage IBS With Diet
  Bowel Illnesses Sometimes Coincide in Kids
  Frozen as Good as Fresh for Fecal Transplants for Diarrhea: Study
  Gastro Woes More Common in Kids With Autism: Review
  Depression Tied to Crohn's Disease Flare-Ups
  Entyvio Approved for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease
  Your Stomach Bug May Well Be Norovirus
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Digestive Diagnostic Procedures
  Digestive Disorders
  Home Page - Digestive Disorders
  Online Resources - Digestive Disorders
  Topic Index - Digestive Disorders
  Viral Hepatitis Overview
  Home Page - Liver, Biliary, and Pancreatic Disorders
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  Common Children's Digestive Problems
  Inflammatory and Infectious Digestive Disorders
  Problems Affecting the Lower Digestive Tract
  Online Resources - Digestive and Liver Disorders
  Viruses, Bacteria, and Parasites in the Digestive Tract
  Problems Affecting the Upper Digestive Tract
  Digestive and Liver Disorders