Withdrawn IBS drug to be available on limited basis

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 20, 2007

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Some patients will now be allowed access to the drug Zelnorm (tegaserod maleate), according to statements issued by the Food and Drug Administration last month. Women younger than 55 who have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation or chronic idiopathic constipation, but lack other options and do not have known heart problems, will be permitted to take it. Patients must also sign consent materials to assure that they are informed of the risks and benefits of taking this drug.

This medication was pulled from the market in March because of evidence associating it with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and worsening of chest pain.

"These patients must meet strict criteria and have no known or preexisting heart problems and be in critical need of this drug," said Steven Galson, MD, MPH, director of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Zelnorm will remain off the market for general use."

Physicians who want to get this drug for their patients should contact the manufacturer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, at 866-248-1348 or 888-669-6682.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn