Zelnorm is the brand name for Tegaserod. It is used to relieve pain, bloating, and constipation caused by Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) in women. Zelnorm is also used to increase the frequency of bowl movements and for the relief of pain, bloating, straining and stomach pain in both men and women who suffer from idiopathic constipation (constipation not due to other diseases, illnesses or other medications – and has been a problem for longer than a six month time span). Zelnorm is in a class of medications called ‘Seratonin Agonists’ and works by improving muscle movement and fluid production in the bowls.

It is used to treat severe constipation. It is also used to treat irritable bowel syndromes in women where constipation is accompanied by severe stomach pain. It increases action of serotonin in intestine. Serotonin is a chemical, which affects bowel movement. In constipation intestinal contraction is less. Serotonin increases contraction in intestine thus relieving patients from constipation.

Zelnorm has tegaserod in form of hydrogen maleate salt. Its chemical formula is 3-(5-methoxy-1H-indol-3-ylmethylene)-N-pentylcarbazimidamide hydrogen maleate and its empirical formula is C16H23N5O.C4H4O4. Its molecular weight is 417.47.

It is an off -white crystalline powder. It is slightly soluble in ethanol. It’s very little soluble in water.

The serotonin 5-HT4 receptor is responsible for preventing contractions when serotonin binds to it. Tegaserod is used to block the 5-HT4 receptor. It further prevents serotonin from binding with it. This results in increased intestinal contraction.  This causes fast and smooth transition of food in the digestive system. As a result patient is relieved from constipation. It also reduces abdominal pain by reducing the sensitivity of the intestinal pain-sensing nerves.

Uses of Zelnorm

It is used for short-term treatment of irritable bowel syndrome or constipation in women. It is also used for treatment of chronic constipation in patients below 65 years of age in both men and women. It relieves constipation by speeding up transit of food in intestine. It also treats the abdominal pain and reduces it by reducing sensitivity in abdominal nerves. In some cases of irritable bowel syndrome stomach pain is accompanied by diarrhea, in that case it should not be used for treatment. It should also be avoided in patients having history of diarrhea. It is an oral medicine and should be taken as advised by the doctor.

Precautions before taking Zelnorm

  • In case of pregnancy, it is up to the doctor to evaluate its benefit before prescribing it. There is no evidential proof of its harm in pregnancy
  • It may harm babies if taken by breast-feeding mothers in a very high dose. Thus a doctor should evaluate its pros and cons before prescribing it to a breast-feeding mother.
  • Zelnorm should not be used in irritable bowel syndrome if the patient is having diarrhea instead of constipation.
  • If a person is allergic to tegaserod, it is advisable to avoid Zelnorm.
  • Patients having history of stroke or heart attack, uncontrolled angina, high cholesterol or triglycerides should avoid it.
  • If the patient is suffering from diabetes, depression, anxiety or high blood pressure then Zelnorm should be avoided.
  • Patients above 65 should not take Zelnorm
  • If you smoke, then you should not use Zelnorm.
  • Persons who are overweight or have a history of suicidal thoughts should not take it.

You should consult your doctor before taking Zelnorm if you have the following conditions.

  • If you have a history of heart attack or stroke
  • If you are suffering from uncontrolled angina or chest pain
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you have high cholesterol or triglycerides;
  • If you have diabetes;
  • If you have depression or anxiety;
  • If you have a history of suicidal ideations  or actions
  • If you have diarrhea or if diarrhea is your main symptom of IBS
  • If you have gallbladder problems
  • If you are suffering from a blockage in your intestines
  • If you are suffering from any other stomach or intestinal disorders
  • If you have any kidney disease
  • If you are suffering from any liver disease

It is advisable to seek immediate medical help if you experience increased or new occurrence of stomach pain, diarrhea or bloody stool. Stop taking this medicine if you have fainting experience or severe stomach pain and call your doctor.

FDA has put this medicine in pregnancy category B. There is no evidential proof of its being harmful to unborn, new born or infants. But it is advisable to consult a doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.