Zelnorm Side Effects
A 2006 analysis of Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Zelnorm drug trials showed an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events in patients taking the drug compared with those taking a placebo.
Researchers uncovered 13 cases of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular side effects among patients who were given Zelnorm, compared with only one such event among the placebo group.
Zelnorm seems to work by causing wavelike movements in the stomach which relieve the symptoms of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Jenkins of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs theorizes that Zelnorm may produce a similar reaction in the arteries, causing spasms which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. In March 2007, the FDA asked Novartis to withdraw Zelnorm from sale in the United States. The agency says that the company is planning to issue a recall of Zelnorm, although no date has been announced.
Other side effects
Several users of Zelnorm have developed a condition known as intestinal ischemia, or decreased blood flow to the intestines. Its symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and frequent bowel movements. If left untreated, this condition can lead to ischemic colitis, an inflammation of the intestines, or severe damage to intestinal tissue, which can lead to death.
In some patients, digestive Zelnorm side effects have led to hospitalization, surgery or even death. Anyone who has been taking Zelnorm and experiences any of the symptoms which may indicate the onset of problems that may be caused by the drug should seek medical attention.