Generic Name: methylnaltrexone (METh IL nal TREX own)Brand Names: Relistor
Methylnaltrexone is a special narcotic drug that blocks certain effects of other narcotic medicines.
Methylnaltrexone reduces constipation caused by narcotic medications that are often used to treat pain in people with terminal illness.
Methylnaltrexone works by preventing this side effect without reducing the pain-relieving effects of the narcotic.
Methylnaltrexone is usually given after laxatives have been tried without successful treatment of constipation.
Methylnaltrexone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before you use methylnaltrexone, tell your doctor if you have severe or ongoing diarrhea.
Do not draw your methylnaltrexone dose into a syringe until you are ready to give yourself an injection. After loading a syringe, if you cannot give the injection right away keep it at room temperature and use it within 24 hours.Methylnaltrexone can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving methylnaltrexone?You should not use this medication if you are allergic to methylnaltrexone, or if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
If you have severe or ongoing diarrhea, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.FDA pregnancy category B. Methylnaltrexone is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether methylnaltrexone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Methylnaltrexone is given as a shot under the skin of your upper arm, stomach, or thigh. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to inject your medicine at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
This medication is usually given once every other day, but not more often than once every 24 hours.
Methylnaltrexone can produce a bowel movement within 30 minutes after injection.Do not draw your methylnaltrexone dose into a syringe until you are ready to give yourself an injection. After loading a syringe, if you cannot give the injection right away keep it at room temperature and use it within 24 hours.
Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
A single-use vial (bottle) of methylnaltrexone is for one injection only. Throw the used vial away after one use, even if there is still medicine left in it.
Methylnaltrexone should look clear or slightly yellow in color. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not freeze.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Do not use this medication more than once in a 24-hour period.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme dizziness, or feeling like you might pass out.
Less serious side effects may include:
stomach pain, gas;
mild nausea; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before receiving methylnaltrexone, tell your doctor if you use any narcotic medication, such as:
buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex);
codeine (Tylenol with codeine);
hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin);
methadone (Dolophine, Methadose);
morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Roxanol);
oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Percocet);
oxymorphone (Numorphan); or
propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with methylnaltrexone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.