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What is alosetron (Lotronex)?

Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Gastroenterology
There is research focusing on the gut-brain connection, which appears to play a role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with serotonin-like medications known as 5-hydroxytrypamine receptor antagonists among those being investigated. The first of these to be approved for diarrhea-predominant IBS was alosetron (Lotronex), which works on the serotonin type 3 receptor. However, Lotronex was temporarily taken off the market in 2000 because of colitis and severe constipation that resulted in 44 hospitalizations and five deaths. Lotronex is now available for women by prescription but only under a tightly controlled prescribing program.

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