Common constipation drug pulled from the market

Share this content:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has pulled Zelnorm from the market because it can cause an increased risk of heart attack, angina, stroke and death.

The drug, whose generic name is tegaserod maleate, has been commonly used to treat constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome and has been on the market since 2002. Zelnorm's maker, Novartis, has voluntarily agreed to stop marketing the drug in the U.S., according to FDA officials.

A review of some 29 studies found that 13 out of 11,614 patients taking the drug had a cardiac event, including one death, compared with one case among 7,031 patients who took a placebo, according to the FDA.