ANCHOR LEAD: PERHAPS THE ONLY EFFECTIVE MEDICATION FOR ONE TYPE OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE MARKET, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation affects many people, most of them women. Now one of the only effective medications to treat the condition has been removed from the market. Linda Lee, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins, explains.
LEE: It was felt that there was a slight increased incidence of cardiovascular events among those who used tegaserod compared with a control group. In keeping with the recommendations of the FDA, Novartis decided to withdraw it from the market. This unfortunately affects a lot of women who have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. I think it is prudent that patients discontinue use, especially if they already have other risk factors such as strong family history, high cholesterol, hypertension or diabetes. :33
The absolute risk of a cardiovascular event in people who took the medication remains quite small, however. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.