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Zelnorm

Generic Name: tegaserod (te GAS e rod)
Brand Names: Zelnorm

Medically reviewed: April 11, 2018

What is Zelnorm?

Zelnorm was withdrawn from the U.S. market on March 30, 2007. This medication may still be used in limited emergency situations.

Zelnorm increases the action of a chemical called serotonin in the intestines. This speeds the movement of stools through the bowels.

Zelnorm is used to treat severe, chronic, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women who have constipation (and not diarrhea) as their main bowel problem. It is also used to treat chronic constipation in patients younger than 55 years old.

Zelnorm may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Zelnorm was withdrawn from the U.S. market on March 30, 2007. This medication may still be used in limited emergency situations.

Zelnorm is not for use in people with diarrhea as the main symptom of their irritable bowel condition.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to tegaserod, or if you have a history of stroke or heart attack, high blood pressure, uncontrolled angina, high cholesterol or triglycerides, diabetes, depression, or anxiety.

You also should not use Zelnorm if you smoke, if you are older than 55 years, if you are overweight, or if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or actions.

Before taking Zelnorm, tell your doctor if you have gallbladder problems, a blockage in your intestines, other stomach or intestinal disorders, kidney disease, or liver disease.

Zelnorm has not been shown to be helpful for men with irritable bowel syndrome. Stop taking Zelnorm and call your doctor at once if you have new or worsening stomach pain, blood in your stools, ongoing diarrhea, severe stomach pain or cramps, or feel like you might pass out.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Zelnorm?

You should not use Zelnorm if you are allergic to tegaserod, or if you have:
  • a history of stroke or heart attack;

  • untreated or uncontrolled angina (chest pain);

  • high blood pressure;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;

  • diabetes;

  • depression or anxiety;

  • if you smoke;

  • if you are older than 55 years;

  • if you are overweight; or

  • if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or actions.

Before taking Zelnorm, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • diarrhea or if diarrhea is your main symptom of IBS;

  • gallbladder problems;

  • a blockage in your intestines;

  • any other stomach or intestinal disorders;

  • kidney disease; or

  • liver disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use Zelnorm.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication 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 Zelnorm passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Zelnorm has not been shown to be helpful for men with irritable bowel syndrome.

How should I take Zelnorm?

Take Zelnorm exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medication with a full glass of water. Take Zelnorm on an empty stomach.

Zelnorm is usually taken twice daily. Follow your doctor's instructions.

It may take up to 2 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 to 6 weeks of treatment.

Zelnorm is not a cure for irritable bowel syndrome. If you stop taking Zelnorm, your symptoms may return within 1 or 2 weeks.

Store Zelnorm at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, wait until it is time for your next dose and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using Zelnorm.

Zelnorm 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. Stop taking Zelnorm and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • new or worsening stomach pain;

  • blood in your stools;

  • ongoing diarrhea;

  • severe stomach pain or cramps; or

  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness or migraine;

  • back pain or joint pain; or

  • mild stomach pain, nausea or gas.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Zelnorm?

Other drugs may interact with Zelnorm. Talk your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Further information

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: 4.01.
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