Generic Name: alvimopan (AL vi MOE pan)
Brand Name: Entereg
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 this medicine.
Alvimopan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about alvimopan?
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.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive alvimopan?
You should not use this medicine 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:
codeine (Tylenol #3);
dihydrocodeine (in many prescription cough medicine combinations);
fentanyl (Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, Onsolis);
hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen);
hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo);
methadone (Methadose, Dolophine)
morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph);
oxycodone (OxyContin, Combunox, Roxicodone, Percocet);
tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet);
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:
indigestion, stomach pain;
nausea, vomiting; or
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Alvimopan dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Gastrointestinal Surgery:
Accelerate the time to upper and lower gastrointestinal recovery following partial large or small resection surgery with primary anastomosis:
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
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.
More about alvimopan
- Other brands: Entereg
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about alvimopan
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
Last reviewed: June 04, 2014
Date modified: October 14, 2016