Brand Name: Zelnorm®
Active Ingredient:   tegaserod maleate
Strength(s): 2 mg and 6 mg
Dosage Form(s):   Tablet
Company Name:    Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Availability:         Prescription only
*Dated Approved by FDA:   July 24, 2002
*Approval by FDA does not mean that the drug is available for consumers at this time.

What is Zelnorm used for? 

Zelnorm is a medicine for the short-term treatment of women who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation (not enough or hard bowel movements) as their main bowel problem. 

Zelnorm has not been shown to work in men with IBS. 

Who should not take Zelnorm?

You should not start taking Zelnorm if you: 

  • have diarrhea or have diarrhea often 
  • have bad kidney or liver disease 
  • have ever had bowel obstruction (intestinal blockage), symptomatic gallbladder disease, or abdominal adhesions causing pain and/or intestinal blockage 
  • are allergic to Zelnorm or any of its ingredients

What should I tell my health care provider?

Tell your health care provider if you are: 

  • trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Zelnorm is not recommended for use by pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding 
  • are taking or planning to take any other medicines, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements

What are some possible side effects of Zelnorm? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Zelnorm. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)  

The most common side effects are: 

  • headache 
  • abdominal pain 
  • diarrhea 
  • nausea 
  • "gas" (flatulance) 

For more detailed information about Zelnorm, ask your health care provider.

Search the Web for more info:  

Recent Forum Posts on Zelnorm

miracle drug?

I've had IBS for over 40 years. My Dr. gave me samples of zelnorm to be taken 2x day with food. This worked like a charm but I developed a terrible cough. It felt like I was choking and it was worse at night. I stopped the drug and the cough went away. About 2 months later I got the bad pain so I resumed the zelmorn. It did absolutly nothing for the pain and I was back to chocking again. I'm off it for good. In the meantime I found a great herbal remedy.


My doctor prescribed this drug to me about 6 months ago. The only difference is he told me to take it 2x a day with food for 15 days a stretch. There is a big difference when you take it with a meal and when you take it on an empty stomach. I start it when ever I feel the pain coming on. Do 15 days and stop. I've had no side effects and I love this stuff. I just wish my HMO wouldn't give me such a hard time when I get a refill.


doctor put me on this for ibs. iget ibs w/diarrhe not constipation
have been taking for 2 days. ifeel as if i have to go to the bathroom all the time and my lower back is just killing me. dont know whether to keep taking of stop.


I don't know if I have IBS or not. I have incredible pain, bloating and constipation. I have had the problems with constipation for years (as long as I can remember.) I am now 31 years old. I am also having a very strong craving for celery. I don't know if this is related. My mother said Zelnorm is dangerous and from the postings listed above, I tend to think she might be right. Does anyone have advice??

Spotting while taking?

I started taking Zelnorm approx. 3 weeks ago, and have experienced ups and downs. I had my period over the 10/4 weekend and on 10/18 I started spotting daily, we I use the restroom I bleed more. I am on birth control and wonder if anyone knows if it could be related or have experienced the same effect???

Side Effects of Zelnorm

I have been taking Zelnorm for IBS with constipation for about one month. I have not yet experienced any of the side effects (headache, nausea, bloating) that others have experienced. But although my doctor says to take it twice a day every day, I only take it once in the morning and sometimes not every day. What I will do is take one, see if I have a BM the next morning without taking one and if I don't, take one the following morning. So I am actually taking one every other day. Maybe this would help those with side effects? Please check with your doctor about this as I am not a medical professional.

No Subject

Does anybody know the cost of Zelnorm my dr. just prescribed it and gave me some sample packages. I live in Canada.

Zelnorm - Love it

I have been taking Zelnorm for almost 2 months. I no longer have constipation. Thank God! I have a BM every morning and sometimes even twice a day. I've never been regular like this. I love Zelnorm and hope to be able to take it long-term. However...I am still having the bloating/weight gain problem. But, I will take the bloating over constipation anyday. Does anyone else have this problem?
Whoever reads this, I wish you the best...hang in there and God Bless...

Need an answer...

I've been taking Zelnorm for 3 weeks. I'm a little better; however, still bloated. Seems the bloating is worse in the afternoon and at night. I'm wondering if foods might trigger the IBS. Please email me with your comments and/or suggestions. Thanks and God Bless

No Subject

I have been taking zelnorm for about 3 months. I have experienced headaches. My dr. lowered the dosage and it has not helped at all with the headaches, they seem to be getting worse.


My mom took 5 Zelnorm Pills and after taking the 5th pill she thought that she was getting the flu, but decided that it was not the flu it was from Zelnorm. She is having and has had severe pain from her abdomen down through her legs for 21/2 months now. She cries out in pain and can hardly be up on her feet. No pain medication seems to work to ease her pain. I was wondering if anyone else had or is having these same symptoms.


I haven't been having bowel problems but my doctor prescribed Zelnorm for my bloating and constant belching I also have pain in right side under rib cage and right shoulder. I had horrendous diarrea after first dose and each subs.for the past three days but can't really tell that it has helped me at all. Not sure yet if I will continue or stop any thoughts?

Zelnorm now causing runs, pain , vomiting

I was totally in love with this drug. Not anymore. I am in terrible shape now. DYSMOTILITY and Vomiting has started to make heck of my life once more. Instead of relief The drug causes stomach cramps , ppain, runs that will last days. It can not really be used long without it backfiring and causing problems so BEWARE!

Acid Reflux

After reading all these comments I don't know what to think. My Gastro. doctor has given me Zelnorm 6mg.&Reglan 5mg.along with zantac for Acid Reflux which causes me to bloat, vomit bile (2lbs. worth once) and just feel awful. I have had IBS/constipation all my life,but this other is worse. The Reglan is to help with the nausea. I am to take it twice a day, 30minutes before my two largest meals, being breakfast and dinner at night. I have only had one at this time. If this does not work then plan B is to have the Reglan made in a suppository form and insert 30 minutes before my evening meal and I guess morning too.Fun, Huh! I was given a test and ate some necular eggs and was filmed for one hour and 30 minutes and my food had not moved out of my stomach, so this drug can be used for several things. Although my insurance would not pay without the IBS/Constipation diagnosis. Hopefully it will clear up all my problems. I just want it to work yesterday!! Anyone with any ideas for me. I do have to exercise and watch what I eat. I am 57 years of age and take other drugs that does not help with the constipation problem.


The bloating is killing me and the headaches are getting worse. I have been taking it for a couple of months and after two weeks it doesnt work any more.

zelnorm experiance

hi, i have been taking zelnom for approximatly 7 months. it worked like a wonder drug, but over the next few months i started feeling worse than before i started taking it. i went to the dr. complaining of pain and other ibs symptoms and found out i now have a tumor on my liver. does anyone know if this can be a side effect of taking the zelnorm? thanks, marla

women only?

I know of a male using this med not for irritable bowel but for another problem and would like to know why it is not recommended for men and why it is advertised on television "for women only". This sounds like false advertising when presented this way yet it is being prescribed for men. Please give me more information. Thank you.

Q. Zelnorm & narcotics?

i have zelnorm - and adhesions - but my doctor who is VERY good said to use this drug anyuway.

but here is the question.....
i'm on methadone - 160mg to be exact for 3 years now.
ANY chance this affects opiates or narcorics AT ALL?

Don't want to risk it - like wuith that antibiotic - rifampin (something like that) - that one ATE UP the methadone and I was in terrible methadone rethrawls that left me sick for weeks and I had to raise the dose. last thing I wanted to do then - and last thing i want to do now.

ANYONE notice that their narcotic pain-meds or ?? isn't working as well now with this new drug therapy of ZELNORM???- thanks. (0 illegal drug use)

Relief from pain

I have been on Zelnorm for a month. The first few days I had mild diarrhea then nothing for a week. Now I have a somewhat "normal" bowel movement about every 3-4 days which is not what I was hoping for. However, the good news is I have no pain, bloating, etc. and feel very good. So my advice is: take it at least for a month and give it a chance to work. I do not want to go back to laxatives!!!

No Subject

I have been taking zelnorm as perscribed for about 6 moonths. Have had not bloating or pain since then. truly a miracle for me, after decades of suffering. I am now on Acifex, and pepcid for acid reflux. Does anyone know if these are all compatable? I notice I have a lot of upper gas, burping alot with pressure in my chest. did not have this before.

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