New research has found that a new medication, tegaserod, is effective in treating nearly all symptoms associated with chronic constipation (CC), a common disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that affects approximately 15% of the Western population at any one time. Tegaserod is currently the only drug aside from laxatives found to be effective at treating such a wide variety of symptoms. This research is published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.
No specific cause for chronic abdominal discomfort and bowel-movement irregularity has ever been identified. Several approaches for treating CC, such as increased fiber intake and lifestyle changes are frequently used, however, evidence for their effectiveness in improving the multiple symptoms of CC is limited.
“Chronic constipation is a complex medical disorder and several bodily mechanisms are involved in its development,” says Stefan Müller-Lissner, M.D., lead author of the study. “The positive results we have found from tegaserod treatment in relieving this array of symptoms could potentially benefit millions.”
The long-term safety, efficacy and tolerability of tegaserod have been proven. Patients show no serious side-effects from long-term usage and maximal improvements were observed after approximately 6 months of further treatment and were sustained thereafter.
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