FDA OKs Relistor for opioid patients

April 28, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) to help restore bowel function in patients receiving opioids.

The FDA said opioids are often prescribed on a continuous basis for patients with late-stage, advanced illness to help alleviate pain, such as in cases of incurable cancer, heart failure and Alzheimer's disease with dementia.

But opioids can interfere with normal bowel movements by relaxing the intestinal smooth muscles and preventing them from contracting and pushing out waste products. Relistor acts by blocking opioid entrance into the cells, thus allowing the bowels to continue to function normally.

"This new drug will be helpful to patients who experience severe constipation associated with the continuous use of morphine or other opioids, which are an important part of care for patients with late-stage, advanced illness." said Dr. Joyce Korvick, deputy director of the FDA's division of gastroenterology products.

Relistor is manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Philadelphia and Progenics Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, N.Y.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.