Methylnaltrexone Proven Effective in Treating Opioid-Induced Constipation

The drug methylnaltrexone can speed up the rate of bowel movements in patients suffering from non-malignant opioid-induced constipation. Results from a study presented at the American Pain Society's 29th Annual Scientific Meeting indicate that subcutaneous Methylnaltrexone administration can help to alleviate the symptom in some patients.

The drug methylnaltrexone can speed up the rate of bowel movements in patients suffering from non-malignant opioid-induced constipation. Results from a study presented at the American Pain Society’s 29th Annual Scientific Meeting indicate that subcutaneous Methylnaltrexone administration can help to alleviate the symptom in some patients.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted by a team that included Marc Duerden, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Participants were patients that took daily opioid for chronic nonmalignant pain. Participants were divided into three groups: one that received methylnaltrexone 12 mg/day; one that received methylnaltrexone 12 mg every other day, and another group that received placebo.

The results demonstrated that for the groups treated with the drug mean change from baseline in weekly rescue-free bowel movements with a sensation of complete evacuation was significantly greater than for those treated with placebo.

Also, the methylnaltrexone groups had a significantly greater decrease from baseline in mean straining and greater changes from baseline in mean bristol stool form.

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