Generic Name: methylnaltrexone (METh IL nal TREX own)
Brand Name: Relistor
What is methylnaltrexone?
Methylnaltrexone is a special narcotic drug that blocks certain effects of other narcotic medicines.
Methylnaltrexone reduces constipation caused by narcotic medicines that are often used to treat pain in people with terminal illness.
Methylnaltrexone works by preventing constipation without reducing the pain-relieving effects of the narcotic.
Methylnaltrexone is usually given after laxatives have been tried without successful treatment of constipation.
Methylnaltrexone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about methylnaltrexone?
You should not use this medicine if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving methylnaltrexone?
You should not use methylnaltrexone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
To make sure methylnaltrexone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a stomach ulcer; or
colitis or other intestinal disorder.
FDA pregnancy category B. Methylnaltrexone is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether methylnaltrexone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is methylnaltrexone used?
Methylnaltrexone is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
This medicine is usually given once every other day, but not more often than once every 24 hours.
Methylnaltrexone can produce a bowel movement within 30 minutes after injection.
Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. After loading a syringe, if you cannot give the injection right away keep it at room temperature and use it within 24 hours.
Each single use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Methylnaltrexone should look clear or slightly yellow in color. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Do not use this medicine more than once in a 24-hour period.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using methylnaltrexone?
Do not use any other laxatives that your doctor has not prescribed.
Methylnaltrexone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
extreme dizziness, or feeling like you might pass out;
ongoing diarrhea or stomach pain that will not go away;
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or
nausea or vomiting that are new or worsening symptoms.
Common side effects may include:
stomach pain, gas;
mild nausea or diarrhea;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect methylnaltrexone?
Other drugs may interact with methylnaltrexone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Relistor (methylnaltrexone)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about methylnaltrexone.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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