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IBS drug Zelnorm taken off market...

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  • IBS drug Zelnorm taken off market...

    Got this from Heather Von Vorous...thought everyone should know...

    Special News Alert!
    IBS Drug Zelnorm Withdrawn from USA Market by FDA
    On March 30, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Novartis Pharmaceuticals voluntarily discontinue marketing of Zelnorm (tegaserod) based on the recently identified finding of an increased risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events (heart problems) associated with use of the drug. Novartis has agreed to voluntarily suspend marketing of the drug in the United States.

    Zelnorm is a prescription medicine approved in July 2002 for short-term treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome whose primary symptom is constipation. It was subsequently approved in August 2004 for treatment of chronic constipation for men and women under age 65. Zelnorm is marketed in 55 countries.

    FDA is currently advising patients who are using Zelnorm to contact their health care providers to discuss treatment alternatives. Patients who are taking Zelnorm should seek emergency medical care if they experience severe chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, sudden onset of weakness or difficulty walking or talking, or other symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.

    "This decision reflects the FDA's commitment to continuously monitor approved drugs throughout their marketing life, and take action when we believe the risks exceed the benefits," said Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, Deputy Director for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Here, a potential risk of very serious harm to patients who have this non-life-threatening condition was recently identified, making this action necessary."

    Throughout February and March 2007, Novartis reported to FDA the results of a new analysis of 29 short-term (1 - 3 months) randomized, controlled clinical trials of Zelnorm. FDA has concluded, based on these data that for most patients the benefits of this drug no longer outweigh the risks.

    The analysis included more than 11,600 patients treated with Zelnorm and over 7000 patients treated with placebo. The data showed that the risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events (e.g., angina, heart attacks, and strokes) associated with use of Zelnorm is higher than with placebo treatment. Thirteen Zelnorm-treated patients (or 0.1%) had confirmed cardiovascular ischemic events, and only 1 placebo-treated patient (or 0.01%) with an event.

    FDA will work with Novartis to allow access to Zelnorm as an investigational drug for patients with no other treatment options where the benefits may outweigh the risks. FDA has also indicated to Novartis the possibility of considering limited re-introduction of Zelnorm at a later date if a population of patients can be identified in which the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks. Any such proposal would be the subject of a public advisory committee meeting before an FDA decision.
    (Added by ICNMgrJill on 5/19/08. I am sad to share that Verdicries (aka Tracy) lost her life in a tragic accident just a few days ago. We will miss her support, her encouragement, her sense of humor and, of course, the joy that she found as a mother and wife).

    Tracy ~ 29 years old with Toxoplasmosis (from birth), Fibro/CFS (since age 13...ouch), severe IC, IBS-D, severe PFD (surgery made it even worse), vulvodynia, hiatal hernia, GERD, ulcers, severe gastritis, numbness/tingling in extremeties, pelvic nerve damage--mainly urethral, urinary retention, pelvic reconstruction 7.10.07 (fixed rectocele, rectal prolapse, lifted bladder, urethra, uterus, and repaired vaginal walls), Raynaud's, 2 severely herniated discs in neck and one in low back, anemia, PCOS, anxiety/depression/panic attacks (since forever). Still having major bowel problems (inability to empty rectum...any ideas?? ).

    I'd like to be on House, MD as a medical mystery.

    Married to Craig, a saint amongst men...who puts up with me and my eccentricities...

    Connor & Mommy by the tree:


    Connor with Santa...so happy!


    I take: LIQUID Atarax, Flomax, Soma (yet again), acidophilus, Glucosamine/Chondroitin with MSM & collagen, d-mannose. MAJOR flare from Cystoprotek! Re-trying freeze dried aloe vera w/some decent results!

    Tried and failed: Elavil, Ultram, Prosed DS, Benadryl, Bentyl, Valium, Ativan, Zanaflex, Librax, Sanctura (all caused retention among other things), bladder instills (owwwwww!), Elmiron (allergic-throat tightening). Failed Interstim-no feeling in sacral nerves...

    I'm allergic to penicillan, sulfa, reglan, quinolones, clindamycin, and now LATEX!

  • #2
    It really bums me that every time they have a drug that works for my bowels it gets taken off the market. A few years back there was a drug called Propulsid, whihc I used to take. I felt great when on it but, it was the same thing- it did stuff to people's hearts like the Zelnorm does. (sigh) Hopefully one of these years they will come up with something that won't harm the heart!

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