Drug update

When to use tegaserod to treat irritable bowel syndrome

John E Kellow



A 12-week course of tegaserod may benefit women with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

Article Extract

What is tegaserod?

Tegaserod (Zelmac) is a member of a new chemical class of aminoguanidine indoles that are structurally similar to serotonin. It is a potent and highly selective partial agonist of serotonin type 4 (5-HT4) receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. The stimulation of 5-HT4 receptors on mucosal sensory neurons triggers the release of other neurotransmitters in the myenteric plexus. This results in a co-ordinated effect on the smooth muscle of the gut wall, promoting peristalsis and increasing the rate of intestinal transit. In animal studies, tegaserod has been shown also to inhibit the activity of visceral afferent nerves in the gastrointestinal tract and to increase intestinal chloride secretion.