If you or a loved one is living with an advanced illness such as cancer, heart and blood vessel problems (eg, cardiovascular disease), lung problems (eg, emphysema or COPD), or Alzheimer's disease, the doctor may have prescribed an opioid medication.1
Opioids can help alleviate pain. But many patients receiving opioid treatment will probably develop constipation. Your healthcare provider may call this opioid-induced constipation, or OIC. If left untreated, this type of constipation can cause you stomach pain and vomiting, and it may even cause your stools to become large or hard enough to become stuck.1 To avoid side effects such as these, some people may decrease their pain medication (opioids) or even stop taking it—even though they may not get as much relief from pain.2
RELISTOR works by precisely treating the source of opioid-induced constipation without affecting the pain relief you get from opioid treatment. You and your doctor can continue to manage your pain with opioids to give you relief.
When laxative therapy is not enough to give you relief from constipation from opioid use, you may want to ask your doctor about RELISTOR.
RELISTOR® is indicated for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care, when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient. Use of RELISTOR beyond four months has not been studied.
Do not take RELISTOR® (methylnaltrexone bromide) Subcutaneous Injection if you have or may have a blockage in your intestines called a mechanical bowel obstruction. Symptoms of this blockage are vomiting, stomach pain, and swelling of your abdomen. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms before taking RELISTOR.
Cases of holes or openings in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been reported in adult patients with opioid-induced constipation and advanced illness with certain conditions (i.e., cancer, peptic ulcer, Ogilvie's syndrome). These holes or openings have involved varying regions of the GI tract (e.g., stomach or intestines). Use RELISTOR with caution if you have a known or suspected wound or injury to the GI tract. If you get abdominal pain that is severe or will not go away, or nausea or vomiting that is new or worse, stop taking RELISTOR and call your healthcare provider.
If you get diarrhea that is severe or does not stop while taking RELISTOR, stop taking RELISTOR and call your healthcare provider.
Use of RELISTOR beyond four months has not been studied.
Safety and efficacy of RELISTOR have not been established in children.
The most common side effects of RELISTOR in clinical studies include: abdominal (stomach) pain, gas, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and sweating.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch/ or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:
Salix Product Information Call Center
References: 1. RELISTOR® (methylnaltrexone bromide) Prescribing Information, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2. Michna E, Blonsky ER, Schulma S, et al. Subcutaneous methylnaltrexone for treatment of opioid-induced constipation in patients with chronic, nonmalignant pain: a randomized controlled study. J Pain. 2011;12(5):554-562. 1. Emanuel EJ, Emanuel LL. Palliative and end-of-life care. In: Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, et al, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2005:53-66. 2. Panchal SJ, Muller-Schwefe P, Wurzelman JI. Opioid-induced bowel dysfunction: prevalence, pathophysiology and burden. Int J Clin Pract. 2007;61(7):1181-1187.
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