Alvimopan

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Alvimopan Brand Name(s): Alvimopan and Alvimopan.

Uses

What is alvimopan used for?

Alvimopan is commonly used to help bowel function after surgery.

How should I take alvimopan?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Take with or without food.

How do I store alvimopan?

Alvimopan is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store alvimopan in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of alvimopan that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush alvimopan down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using alvimopan?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of alvimopan or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • You have been taking a pain drug for more than 7 days in a row.
  • You have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • You have a bowel block.
  • You will be having pancreas surgery, stomach surgery, or surgery for a whole bowel block.

Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.

Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.

The chance of side effects like loose stools (diarrhea), belly pain, or belly cramps may be higher in Japanese people. Talk with your doctor.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using alvimopan while you are pregnant.

Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using alvimopan during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking alvimopan. Alvimopan is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

 

Side effects

What side effects can occur from alvimopan?

Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out
  • Very bad headache
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up
  • Belly pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Upset stomach

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with alvimopan?

Alvimopan may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with alvimopan?

Alvimopan may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with alvimopan?

Alvimopan may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using alvimopan.

 

What is the dose of alvimopan for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Gastrointestinal Surgery

Accelerate the time to upper and lower gastrointestinal recovery following partial large or small resection surgery with primary anastomosis:

  • Initial dose: 12 mg orally once, administered 30 minutes to 5 hours prior to surgery
  • Maintenance dose: 12 mg orally twice daily beginning the day after surgery for a maximum of 7 days or until discharge
  • Maximum dose: Not to exceed 15 doses

What is the dose of alvimopan for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is alvimopan available?

Alvimopan is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Capsule

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of alvimopan, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: October 2, 2017 | Last Modified: September 11, 2019

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