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Brand names: Zelnorm

What is tegaserod used for?

  • Tegaserod is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

Before taking tegaserod, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to tegaserod; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If you currently have diarrhea or you have diarrhea often.
  • If you have ever had any of these health problems: Chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
  • If you have ever had any of these health problems: A problem with your sphincter of Oddi (the part of your body that controls the flow of bile and pancreas juice to the bowel), blood flow problems in the bowel, bowel block, gallbladder disease, or scar tissue in the abdomen.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take tegaserod.
  • If you are a man. This medicine is not approved for use in men.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with tegaserod.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take tegaserod with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take tegaserod?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take tegaserod. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Heart attacks and strokes have happened with tegaserod. Sometimes, these have been deadly. The chance may be higher if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or if you have ever had diabetes. The chance may also be higher if you are 55 years of age or older, overweight, or smoke. Get medical help right away if you have chest pain or pressure; shortness of breath; sweating; upset stomach or throwing up; numbness or weakness on 1 side of the body; severe headache; trouble speaking or thinking; change in balance; drooping on 1 side of the face; or change in eyesight.
  • Diarrhea is common with tegaserod. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration, low blood pressure, and passing out. Sometimes, people have had to go to the hospital. Call your doctor right away if you have severe diarrhea, dizziness, or passing out.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using tegaserod while you are pregnant.

How is tegaserod best taken?

Use tegaserod as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take tegaserod at least 30 minutes before meals.
  • Keep taking tegaserod as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are the side effects of tegaserod that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe bowel problems caused by low blood flow to the bowels (ischemic colitis) have happened with tegaserod. Sometimes, people have had to go to the hospital. Call your doctor right away if you have rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, or stomach pain that is new or worse.
  • This medicine may raise the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk may be greater in people taking drugs for depression. Watch people who take tegaserod closely. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide.

What are some other side effects of tegaserod?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Headache.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Gas.
  • Dizziness.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out tegaserod?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use and disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time tegaserod is refilled. If you have any questions about tegaserod, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
  • This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take tegaserod or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to tegaserod. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated April 5, 2023.