Novartis To Stop Selling Constipation Drug At FDA's Request

Friday, March 30th 2007, 11:55 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Swiss pharmaceutical maker Novartis AG will stop selling a drug to relieve constipation after it was linked to higher chance of heart attack, stroke and worsening heart chest pain that can become a heart attack, federal health officials said Friday.

Novartis agreed to withdraw Zelnorm at the FDA's request, the agency said in a public health advisory.

Zelnorm, also called tegaserod maleate, is a prescription medication approved for short-term treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and for patients younger than 65 with chronic constipation, the FDA said.

Doctors who prescribe Zelnorm should work with their patients and transition them to other therapies as appropriate, the FDA added.