Generic Name: alvimopan (AL vi MOE pan)
Brand Name: Entereg
Medically reviewed on May 15, 2018
What is alvimopan?
Alvimopan reduces certain side effects of narcotic medicines that are often used to prevent pain caused by surgery. Narcotic medicine can cause stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. These side effects can delay recovery in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery.
Alvimopan helps prevent these side effects without reducing the pain-relieving effects of the narcotic.
Alvimopan is used to help restore normal digestive functioning after surgery to remove a portion of your intestine.
Alvimopan is available only under a special program for short-term use (no more than 15 doses). You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and benefits of taking alvimopan.
Alvimopan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use alvimopan if you have severe liver or kidney disease, or if you have used a narcotic medicine for more than 7 days in a row just before your surgery.
Alvimopan is available only under a special program for short-term use.
Some people had heart attacks while taking alvimopan long-term during clinical studies. It is not clear whether alvimopan is the actual cause of heart attack. This medicine should not be used for longer than 7 days after your surgery.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use alvimopan if you are allergic to alvimopan, if you have severe liver or kidney disease.
Do not take alvimopan if you have used an opioid medicine for more than 7 days in a row just before your intestinal surgery. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic, and may include:
dihydrocodeine (in many prescription cough medicine combinations);
and many others.
To make sure alvimopan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
heart disease or prior heart attack;
blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);
colostomy or ileostomy;
a pancreas disorder; or
if you have recently used any type of narcotic medicine.
FDA pregnancy category B. Alvimopan is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether alvimopan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is alvimopan given?
Alvimopan is given only in a hospital for a short period of time.
You will receive your first dose of alvimopan up to 5 hours before your surgery. You will then be given additional doses 2 times per day for up to 7 days.
This medicine should not be used for longer than 7 days after your surgery.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Because you will receive alvimopan in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid while receiving alvimopan?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Alvimopan side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some people had heart attacks while taking alvimopan long-term during clinical studies. It is not clear whether alvimopan is the actual cause of heart attack. Call your doctor at once if you have heart attack symptoms, such as:
chest pain or pressure;
pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
anxiety, nausea, sweating.
Common side effects may include:
You may be more likely to have unpleasant effects on your stomach if you have recently used any type of narcotic (opioid) medicine.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Alvimopan dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Gastrointestinal Surgery:
For hospital use only:
Initial dose: 12 mg orally once, administered 30 minutes to 5 hours prior to surgery
Maintenance dose: 12 mg orally twice daily beginning the day after surgery for a maximum of 7 days or until discharge
Maximum dose: Not to exceed 15 doses
-This drug is contraindicated in patients who have taken therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately prior.
-Because of the risk of myocardial infarction with long-term use, this drug is only available to enrolled hospitals through a REMS program (ENTEREG Access Support and Education).
Use: To accelerate the time to upper and lower gastrointestinal recovery following surgeries that include partial bowel resection with primary anastomosis
What other drugs will affect alvimopan?
Other drugs may interact with alvimopan, 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.
It is especially important to tell your doctor if you have taken a narcotic medicine within the past 7 days. Narcotic medications are usually given to treat moderate to severe pain. Some prescription cough medications also contain narcotics.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
More about alvimopan
- Alvimopan Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- Drug class: peripheral opioid receptor antagonists
Other brands: Entereg