Alvimopan: A peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist

John B. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Postoperative ileus (POI), a transient cessation of coordinated bowel motility after surgery, is an important factor in extending the length of hospital stay. The etiology of POI is multifactorial, and related to both the surgical and anesthetic pathways chosen. Additionally, opioids used to manage non-cancer-related and cancer-related chronic pain may also decrease gastrointestinal (GI) motility resulting in opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD). Postoperative ileus has been associated with prolonged hospital stay and readmission, and thus may increase the overall hospital costs per patient with POI. Alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, accelerated time to GI recovery and reduced postoperative hospital length of stay in phase III POI clinical trials and improved symptoms of OBD compared with placebo in phase II/III clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently evaluating alvimopan for the management of POI after bowel resection. Alvimopan may provide clinically meaningful benefits to patients and may lower the economic burden of POI to the health-care system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-625
Number of pages15
JournalDrugs of Today
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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