Lotronex Warnings and Precautions
Specific Precautions and Warnings for Lotronex
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
- Lotronex can cause constipation, which can lead to serious bowel complications, including a blockage in the bowel (obstruction), tearing (perforation), and a life-threatening condition known as toxic megacolon (when the intestines become abnormally wide). Although rare, in some cases these problems have resulted in a hospital stay, surgery, blood transfusion, and even death.
If you become constipated during Lotronex treatment, stop taking the medication and contact your healthcare provider. If your constipation does not improve after you stop Lotronex, contact your healthcare provider again. Do not restart Lotronex unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you it is okay to do so.
- Lotronex has been reported to cause a condition known as ischemic colitis, which occurs when blood flow to the intestines is reduced. This can damage the intestines. Ischemic colitis can lead to a hospital stay, surgery, blood transfusion, and even death. Stop taking Lotronex and contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop signs of this serious condition, such as:
- Bleeding from your rectum
- Blood in your stool
- New or worse abdominal (stomach) pain.
- Because Lotronex has been associated with serious bowel side effects, it can only be prescribed by healthcare providers who enroll in a special program. This special program ensures healthcare providers know about the risks and benefits of using Lotronex before prescribing it. You will have to get a special prescription from your healthcare provider to get Lotronex filled. Lotronex prescriptions cannot be phoned or faxed to the pharmacy.
- You healthcare provider will talk to you about your IBS symptoms, and explain the risks and benefits of Lotronex before starting treatment. You will also be given a medication guide that describes the use of Lotronex before you start treatment and with each refill. Make sure to read the guide and ask questions if there is anything you do not completely understand.
- You will be asked to sign a Patient Acknowledgement Form indicating you understand the risks and benefits of Lotronex use before you begin taking the medication. Your healthcare provider will go over the form with you.
- Lotronex may react with a number of other medications (see Lotronex Drug Interactions).
- Lotronex is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means it is probably safe for use during pregnancy (see Lotronex and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Lotronex passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lotronex and Breastfeeding).