Opioids May Delay Gastrointestinal (GI) Recovery

Morphine and other opioid analgesics are commonly used for the treatment of acute postsurgical pain.1 In the central nervous system, opioid analgesics bind to μ-opioid receptors, inhibiting neural transmission and producing analgesia.

In the GI system, normal patterns of neuronal firing within the enteric nervous system are inhibited by opioid analgesics.2 These agents bind to μ-opioid receptors on enteric neurons, which inhibit neural transmission and GI motility.

Naturally occurring endogenous opioids

Opioids in the brain icon

AND

Opioids exogenously administered for surgical pain management

Opioid pain management icon

May have a negative effect on GI motility3

GI motility icon
Learn about ENTEREG (alvimopan) and Accelerated Postoperative Care Pathways in GI Recovery

References: 1. Gutstein HB, Akil H. Opioid analgesics. In: Brunton LL, Lazo JS, Parker KL, eds. Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 11th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2006:547-590. 2. Galligan JJ, Akbarali HI. Molecular physiology of enteric opioid receptors. Am J Gastroenterol Suppl. 2014;2(1):17-21. 3. Beard TL, Leslie JB, Nemeth J. The opioid component of delayed gastrointestinal recovery after bowel resection. J Gastrointest Surg. 2011;15(7):1259-1268.

Important Safety Information About ENTEREG® (alvimopan)
WARNING: POTENTIAL RISK OF MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION WITH LONG-TERM USE: FOR SHORT-TERM HOSPITAL USE ONLY
  • Increased incidence of myocardial infarction was seen in a clinical trial of patients taking alvimopan for long-term use. No increased risk was observed in short-term trials.
  • Because of the potential risk of myocardial infarction, ENTEREG is available only through a restricted program for short-term use (15 doses) called the ENTEREG Access Support and Education (E.A.S.E.) Program.
Contraindications

ENTEREG Capsules are contraindicated in patients who have taken therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately prior to taking ENTEREG.

Warnings and Precautions

There were more reports of myocardial infarctions in patients treated with alvimopan 0.5 mg twice daily compared with placebo-treated patients in a 12-month study of patients treated with opioids for chronic pain. In this study, the majority of myocardial infarctions occurred between 1 and 4 months after initiation of treatment. This imbalance has not been observed in other studies of alvimopan, including studies of patients undergoing bowel resection surgery who received alvimopan 12 mg twice daily for up to 7 days. A causal relationship with alvimopan has not been established.

E.A.S.E. Program for ENTEREG: ENTEREG is available only to hospitals that enroll in the E.A.S.E. ENTEREG REMS Program. To enroll in the E.A.S.E. Program, the hospital must acknowledge that:

  • Hospital staff who prescribe, dispense, or administer ENTEREG have been provided the educational materials on the need to limit use of ENTEREG to short-term, inpatient use
  • Patients will not receive more than 15 doses of ENTEREG
  • ENTEREG will not be dispensed to patients after they have been discharged from the hospital

ENTEREG should be administered with caution to patients receiving more than 3 doses of an opioid within the week prior to surgery. These patients may be more sensitive to ENTEREG and may experience GI side effects (eg, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea).

ENTEREG is not recommended for use in patients with severe hepatic impairment, end-stage renal disease, complete gastrointestinal obstruction, or pancreatic or gastric anastomosis, or in patients who have had surgery for correction of complete bowel obstruction.

Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reaction (incidence ≥1.5%) occurring with a higher frequency than placebo among ENTEREG-treated patients undergoing surgeries that included a bowel resection was dyspepsia (ENTEREG, 1.5%; placebo, 0.8%).

Before prescribing ENTEREG, please read the accompanying Prescribing Information, including the Boxed Warning about potential risk of myocardial infarction with long-term use.

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Indication and Usage

ENTEREG is indicated to accelerate the time to upper and lower gastrointestinal recovery following surgeries that include partial bowel resection with primary anastomosis.

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Important Safety Information About ENTEREG® (alvimopan)
WARNING: POTENTIAL RISK OF MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION WITH LONG-TERM USE: FOR SHORT-TERM HOSPITAL USE ONLY
  • Increased incidence of myocardial infarction was seen in a clinical trial of patients taking alvimopan for long-term use. No increased risk was observed in short-term trials.
  • Because of the potential risk of myocardial infarction, ENTEREG is available only through a restricted program for short-term use (15 doses) called the ENTEREG Access Support and Education (E.A.S.E.) Program.
Contraindications

ENTEREG Capsules are contraindicated in patients who have taken therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately prior to taking ENTEREG.

Warnings and Precautions

There were more reports of myocardial infarctions in patients treated with alvimopan 0.5 mg twice daily compared with placebo-treated patients in a 12-month study of patients treated with opioids for chronic pain. In this study, the majority of myocardial infarctions occurred between 1 and 4 months after initiation of treatment. This imbalance has not been observed in other studies of alvimopan, including studies of patients undergoing bowel resection surgery who received alvimopan 12 mg twice daily for up to 7 days. A causal relationship with alvimopan has not been established.

E.A.S.E. Program for ENTEREG: ENTEREG is available only to hospitals that enroll in the E.A.S.E. ENTEREG REMS Program. To enroll in the E.A.S.E. Program, the hospital must acknowledge that:

  • Hospital staff who prescribe, dispense, or administer ENTEREG have been provided the educational materials on the need to limit use of ENTEREG to short-term, inpatient use
  • Patients will not receive more than 15 doses of ENTEREG
  • ENTEREG will not be dispensed to patients after they have been discharged from the hospital

ENTEREG should be administered with caution to patients receiving more than 3 doses of an opioid within the week prior to surgery. These patients may be more sensitive to ENTEREG and may experience GI side effects (eg, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea).

ENTEREG is not recommended for use in patients with severe hepatic impairment, end-stage renal disease, complete gastrointestinal obstruction, or pancreatic or gastric anastomosis, or in patients who have had surgery for correction of complete bowel obstruction.

Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reaction (incidence ≥1.5%) occurring with a higher frequency than placebo among ENTEREG-treated patients undergoing surgeries that included a bowel resection was dyspepsia (ENTEREG, 1.5%; placebo, 0.8%).

Before prescribing ENTEREG, please read the accompanying Prescribing Information, including the Boxed Warning about potential risk of myocardial infarction with long-term use.