Skip to main content

Tegaserod Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 6, 2023.

Applies to tegaserod: oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Tegaserod

Along with its needed effects, tegaserod may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking tegaserod:

More common

  • Diarrhea
  • stomach pain

Less common

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • bloody stools
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • pale skin
  • sensation of spinning
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness


  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion
  • difficulty in speaking
  • double vision
  • headache
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • nausea
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • slow speech
  • sweating
  • thoughts or attempts at killing oneself
  • vomiting

Incidence not known

  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives, itching, skin rash
  • indigestion
  • light-colored stools
  • new or worsening stomach pain
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • severe diarrhea
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • stomach pain, usually after eating a meal
  • stomach tenderness
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • upper right abdominal pain
  • yellow eyes and skin

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking tegaserod:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Bloated, full feeling
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or bowels
  • headache
  • passing gas

Other side effects of Tegaserod

Some side effects of tegaserod may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  • Belching
  • difficulty in moving
  • heartburn
  • increased appetite
  • indigestion
  • lack or loss of strength
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  • stomach discomfort or upset

Incidence not known

  • Thinning or loss of hair

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tegaserod: oral tablet.


Cardiovascular side effects have included hypotension, angina pectoris, syncope, arrhythmia, bundle branch block, supraventricular tachycardia, and flushing. A case of myocardial infarction has been reported.[Ref]

Myocardial infarction has been reported in a 64-year-old male after receiving two doses of tegaserod 6 mg.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache, dizziness, migraine, insomnia, vertigo, and Raynaud's phenomenon.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, abdominal distention and pain, vomiting, dyspepsia, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, hemorrhoids, and proctalgia. Irritable colon, fecal incontinence, tenesmus, increased appetite, eructation, appendicitis, bilirubinemia, subileus, sphincter of Oddi spasm, bile duct stone, ischemic colitis, mesenteric ischemia, gangrenous bowel, rectal bleeding, and increases in abdominal surgeries, primarily cholecystectomies, have also been reported; however, causality was not clearly established.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included increased SGOT and SGPT. Hepatitis, elevation in ALT, AST, and bilirubin have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have included increase in appetite, hypokalemia and hypovolemia secondary to diarrhea, and increased creatine phosphokinase.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included back pain, arthropathy, and myalgia. Other effects, regardless of causality, have included cramps.[Ref]


Oncologic side effects have included breast carcinoma.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included attempted suicide, impaired concentration, emotional lability, increased appetite, sleep disorder and depression.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included asthma.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included pruritus. Alopecia has been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included increased sweating.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included frequent micturition, polyuria, urinary tract infection, ovarian cyst, miscarriage, dysmenorrhea, and menorrhagia.[Ref]


Renal side effects have included renal pain and albuminuria.[Ref]


Side effects affecting the body as a whole have included accidental trauma (3% vs. 2% for placebo) and leg pain (1% vs. less than 1% for placebo). Other effects, regardless of causality, have included pain and facial edema.[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Product Information. Zelnorm (tegaserod). Novartis Pharmaceuticals. 2002.

2. Morganroth J, Ruegg PC, Dunger-Baldauf C, Appel-Dingemanse S, Bliesath H, Lefkowitz M. Tegaserod, a 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 receptor partial agonist, is devoid of electrocardiographic effects. Am J Gastroenterol. 2002;97:2321-7.

3. Busti AJ, Murillo JR Jr, Cryer B. Tegaserod-induced myocardial infarction: case report and hypothesis. Pharmacotherapy. 2004;24:526-31.

4. Bertoli R, Girardin F, Russmann S, Lauterburg BH. Raynaud's phenomenon induced by drugs acting on neurotransmission: two cases under reboxetine and one under tegaserod. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2003;58:717.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.