Lotronex : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Lotronex (Alosetron) can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI; affecting the stomach or intestines) side effects, including ischemic colitis (decreased blood flow to the intestines) and severe constipation that may need treatment in a hospital and rarely can cause death. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: antihistamines; certain antidepressants (‘mood elevators’) called tricyclic antidepressants; or certain medications to treat asthma, diarrhea, lung disease, mental illness, motion sickness, overactive bladder, pain, Parkinson’s disease, stomach or intestinal cramps, ulcers, and upset stomach. Tell your doctor if you are constipated at this time, if you are constipated often, or if you have had problems as a result of the constipation. Also tell your doctor if you have a blockage in the intestines, ischemic colitis, blood clots, or any disease that causes inflammation of the intestines, such as Crohn’s disease (swelling of the lining of the digestive tract), ulcerative colitis (a condition that causes swelling and sores in the lining of the colon [large intestine] and rectum), diverticulitis (small pouches in the lining of the large intestine that can become inflamed), or liver disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Lotronex.
Stop taking Lotronex and call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: constipation, new or worse pain in your abdomen (stomach area), or blood in your stools. Call your doctor again if your constipation does not improve after you stop taking Lotronex. Once you have stopped taking Lotronex due to these symptoms, do not take it again unless your doctor tells you to.
Only certain doctors who are registered with the company that makes Lotronex and who are aware of possible side effects can prescribe this drug. Your doctor will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) before you start treatment with Lotronex and your pharmacist will give you a copy each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also get the Medication Guide from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking Lotronex.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Lotronex (Alosetron) is used to treat diarrhea, pain, cramps, and the feeling of an urgent need to have a bowel movement caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS; a condition that causes stomach pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea) in women who have diarrhea as its main symptom and have not improved with other treatments. Lotronex is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Lotronex works by slowing the movement of stool (bowel movements) through the intestines.
How should this medicine be used?
Lotronex comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with or without food. Take Lotronex at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Take Lotronex exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably prescribe a low dose of Lotronex. Your doctor will want to talk to you after you have taken the low dose for 4 weeks. If your symptoms are not controlled but you do not experience serious side effects with Lotronex, your doctor may increase your dose. If you take the increased dose for 4 weeks and your symptoms are still not controlled, Lotronex may not help you. Stop taking Lotronex and call your doctor.
Lotronex can control IBS but will not cure it. If Lotronex helps you and you stop taking it, your IBS symptoms may return in 1 to 2 weeks.
Other uses for this medicine
Lotronex should not be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Lotronex,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Lotronex, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Lotronex tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking fluvoxamine (Luvox) or the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Lotronex if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and voriconazole (Vfend); cimetidine (Tagamet); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); fluoroquinolone antibiotics including ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), others; hydralazine (apresoline); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); certain medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) such as atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), nelfinavir ( Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), and tipranavir (Aptivus); procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl); and telithromycin (Ketek). Many other medications can also interact with Lotronex, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or any stomach or intestinal problems, surgery on the stomach or intestines, or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Lotronex, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Do not take the missed dose when you remember. Skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Lotronex may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- swelling in the stomach area
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.