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Entereg (Generic Alvimopan)

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Entereg, also known as alvimopan, is a medication primarily used to help restore normal bowel function after surgery. However, like any medication, it carries certain risks and side effects. Here are some potential risks associated with taking Entereg:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Entereg can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: There may be an increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, associated with the use of Entereg.
  • Potential for Bowel Obstruction: In some cases, Entereg can lead to bowel obstruction or perforation, particularly in patients who have a history of bowel obstruction.
  • Potential for Drug Interactions: Entereg may interact with other medications, potentially affecting their efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects.
  • Respiratory Depression: Entereg can cause respiratory depression, particularly when used in higher doses or in patients who are already at risk for respiratory depression.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Entereg, which can range from mild skin rashes to more severe reactions such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, or throat.

It’s important for patients to discuss their medical history and any potential risks with their healthcare provider before starting Entereg. Additionally, patients should carefully follow their doctor’s instructions for taking the medication and report any concerning symptoms promptly.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Entereg (alvimopan) is primarily prescribed to help restore normal bowel function after gastrointestinal surgery, particularly for patients who are at risk of postoperative ileus. Postoperative ileus is a condition where the normal movement of the intestines is temporarily reduced or stopped after surgery, leading to symptoms such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, and delayed passage of gas and stool. Entereg works by blocking the effects of opioids on the gastrointestinal tract, which can help accelerate the recovery of bowel function.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how Entereg should be used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Entereg can vary depending on the individual patient and their specific medical condition. It is typically administered orally in capsules form.
  • Timing: Entereg is usually started before surgery and continued for a few days after surgery to help facilitate the recovery of bowel function. The exact duration of treatment will be determined by the healthcare provider based on the patient’s condition and response to the medication.
  • Administration: Entereg capsules should be swallowed whole with water, and they can be taken with or without food.
  • Follow Doctor’s Instructions: It’s essential to follow the dosage and administration instructions provided by the healthcare provider carefully. Do not exceed the prescribed dose or stop taking Entereg without consulting a doctor.
  • Monitoring: Patients taking Entereg should be monitored closely for any signs of gastrointestinal issues, allergic reactions, or other adverse effects. If any concerning symptoms occur, patients should contact their healthcare provider promptly.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all other medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as Entereg may interact with certain drugs.

Overall, Entereg should be used as prescribed by a healthcare professional and is typically part of a comprehensive treatment plan for postoperative recovery.

Other uses for this medicine

Entereg (alvimopan) is primarily used for its intended purpose of restoring normal bowel function after gastrointestinal surgery. However, there may be off-label or investigational uses of Entereg that your healthcare provider may consider based on your individual medical situation. These alternative uses would be determined by your doctor and may involve conditions where accelerating bowel function recovery could be beneficial, such as certain types of bowel diseases or other gastrointestinal disorders. It’s important to discuss any potential off-label use with your healthcare provider.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Entereg:

  • Medical History: Before starting Entereg, inform your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including any allergies, gastrointestinal issues, cardiovascular problems, respiratory conditions, or previous surgeries.
  • Opioid Use: Entereg should not be used in patients who have taken therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately before starting the medication, as it may lead to opioid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor may monitor you closely for any signs of gastrointestinal issues, cardiovascular events, respiratory depression, or allergic reactions while you’re taking Entereg.
  • Dosage Adjustment: Dosage adjustments may be necessary for patients with impaired kidney function or hepatic impairment. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate dosage based on your individual circumstances.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: It’s important to discuss the risks and benefits of taking Entereg if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The potential risks to the fetus or infant should be weighed against the benefits of treatment.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as Entereg may interact with certain drugs. Your doctor will assess potential interactions and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
  • Allergic Reactions: If you have a known allergy to alvimopan or any of the ingredients in Entereg, you should not take the medication. Be vigilant for signs of allergic reactions while taking Entereg and seek medical attention if any occur.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance regarding the use of Entereg, and do not hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have about the medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Entereg. However, maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated can support overall gastrointestinal health and may complement the effects of Entereg in restoring bowel function.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Don’t take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
  • If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Entereg (alvimopan) can cause various side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea: Feeling of discomfort in the stomach with an urge to vomit.
  • Vomiting: Forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.
  • Diarrhea: Frequent passing of loose or watery stools.
  • Abdominal Pain: Pain or discomfort felt in the abdomen.
  • Headache: Aching or pain in the head, which can vary in intensity.
  • Flatulence: Excessive gas accumulation in the digestive tract leading to bloating and belching.
  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or unsteady, which may be accompanied by a sensation of spinning.

Less common but potentially serious side effects of Entereg include:

  • Cardiovascular Events: Such as heart attack or stroke, particularly in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.
  • Respiratory Depression: Characterized by slowed or shallow breathing, which can be life-threatening.
  • Bowel Obstruction or Perforation: In rare cases, Entereg can lead to blockage or rupture of the intestines.
  • Allergic Reactions: Including rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. An allergic reaction to Entereg requires immediate medical attention.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Such as anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that requires emergency treatment.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance: Entereg may cause shifts in electrolyte levels, leading to symptoms such as weakness, confusion, irregular heartbeat, or muscle cramps.

It’s essential to report any unusual or concerning symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly. They can help determine whether the side effects are related to Entereg and provide appropriate guidance or treatment. Additionally, always follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Entereg and inform them of any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you’re taking to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to storage and disposal of Entereg (alvimopan), here’s what you should know:

  • Storage: Store Entereg at room temperature away from light and moisture. Avoid storing it in the bathroom. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of Entereg properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush it down the toilet or drain unless instructed to do so. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider about the proper disposal method for unused or expired medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose of Entereg:

  • Seek Medical Help: If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, severe dizziness, loss of consciousness, or irregular heartbeat, seek immediate medical attention by calling emergency services or going to the nearest emergency room.
  • Poison Control: You can also contact your local poison control center for guidance on what to do in case of overdose.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow Doctor’s Instructions: Take Entereg exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not alter your dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your doctor may need to monitor your progress and adjust your dosage as needed. Attend all scheduled appointments and inform your healthcare provider of any changes in your condition or any new symptoms you experience.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as Entereg may interact with certain drugs. Your doctor will assess potential interactions and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
  • Allergic Reactions: If you experience signs of an allergic reaction to Entereg, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Discuss the risks and benefits of taking Entereg if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Your healthcare provider can help you make an informed decision about the use of Entereg during these times.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Entereg may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some individuals. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how Entereg affects you.
  • Alcohol: Limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking Entereg, as it may exacerbate certain side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about taking Entereg or if you experience any unexpected side effects or reactions.

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