The new irritable bowel syndrome drug, tegaserod, provides rapid relief and is well tolerated, the United European Gastroenterology Week has been told.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of nearly 800 patients showed that individuals experienced relief from abdominal pain within 2 days.
There was a statistically significant reduction in pain by Day 2
According to patient reports, bowel function improved rapidly, and bloating was significantly reduced within a week among those who took the drug, the conference in Brussels, Belgium, was told.
Manufacturer Novartis said it was hoping to launch the drug, marketed as Zelmac, in the USA in the middle of next year.
Global head of development Dr Joerg Reinhardt said, "This study suggests that Zelmac will provide IBS patients with rapid relief of symptoms, thus increasing satisfaction with treatment."
Tegaserod acts on the 5-HT4 receptor pathways, reducing abdominal pain and improving GI motility.
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