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Zelnorm and Weight Gain

Since increased appetite is a rare but possible side effect of Zelnorm, it is reasonable to expect that weight gain would also be a rarely reported problem. There are some things that you can do to help with any weight gain that may occur, including limiting how much alcohol you drink and watching your intake of saturated fat, among other things.

An Overview of Zelnorm and Weight Gain

Zelnorm® (tegaserod maleate) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as to provide relief of chronic constipation in people younger than 65. As with all medicines, there are a number of possible side effects with Zelnorm.
Increased appetite is one rare side effect reported in Zelnorm clinical studies. This side effect was reported in less than 1 percent of people taking the medication. Weight gain was not a reported side effect; however, since an increased appetite can lead to weight gain, it is reasonable to expect this to be a rarely reported problem.
The challenge with Zelnorm and an increased appetite or weight gain is that, given how rarely these problems were reported with Zelnorm and how common they are within the general population, it is difficult to tell whether they are caused by Zelnorm, other factors, or a combination of both.

Suggestions on Dealing With Weight Gain

If you are noticing an increased appetite or unexplained weight gain while taking Zelnorm, there are some things that you can do. Some suggestions include:
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet. This diet should include:


    • Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
    • Limited amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars.


  • Participating in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Limiting your intake of alcohol.
Also, if you are noticing an increased appetite or weight gain with Zelnorm, talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can give you other suggestions for dealing with any weight gain. If the weight gain continues, he or she may also recommend other lifestyle choices or possibly switching to another constipation or IBS medication.
(Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range. You can also read about a specific diet for IBS by going to IBS Diet.)

Zelnorm Information

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