Constipation Drug Tied to Heart Problems

Washington (AP) -- A Swiss drug company has agreed to stop selling a constipation medicine after it was linked to serious ailments, including heart attack and stroke.

Novartis is withdrawing the drug Zelnorm at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.

Zelnorm is a prescription drug approved for short-term treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It's also given to people under 65 with chronic constipation.

It was linked to a higher chance of heart attack, stroke and worsening heart chest pain that can become a heart attack.

Doctors who prescribe Zelnorm are advised by the FDA to work with their patients and transition them to other therapies.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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