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Methylnaltrexone in the treatment of opioid-induced constipation

By Beverley Greenwood-Van Meerveld and Kelly M Standifer

Abstract

Constipation is a significant problem related to opioid medications used to manage pain. This review attempts to outline the latest findings related to the therapeutic usefulness of a μ opioid receptor antagonist, methylnaltrexone in the treatment of opioid-induced constipation. The review highlights methylnaltrexone bromide (Relistor™; Progenics/Wyeth) a quaternary derivative of naltrexone, which was recently approved in the United States, Europe and Canada. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States approved a subcutaneous injection for the treatment of opioid bowel dysfunction in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care and when laxative therapy has been insufficient. Methylnaltrexone is a peripherally restricted, μ opioid receptor antagonist that accelerates oral–cecal transit in patients with opioid-induced constipation without reversing the analgesic effects of morphine or inducing symptoms of opioid withdrawal. An analysis of the mechanism of action and the potential benefits of using methylnaltrexone is based on data from published basic research and recent clinical studies

Topics: Review
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3108626
Provided by: PubMed Central

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