Alvimopan for the management of postoperative ileus

John B. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, safety, dosage, and administration of alvimopan, a peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonist, in the management of postoperative ileus (POI). DATA SOURCES: A literature search (1980-October 2004) applying the terms alvimopan, ADL 8-2698, and LY246736 was conducted using MEDLINE. Information was also obtained from scientific congress abstracts and data on file with the manufacturer. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Studies and abstracts investigating alvimopan and POI were considered for inclusion; however, they were restricted to English-language articles. DATA SYNTHESIS: Alvimopan is a novel, peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonist that is currently under evaluation for the management of POI. POI presents significant clinical challenges that can delay patient recovery and contribute to increased morbidity and prolonged hospitalization after surgery. Clinical trials have demonstrated that alvimopan, at oral doses of 6 and 12 mg, can accelerate time to recovery of gastrointestinal (GI) function and time to hospital discharge following abdominal surgery. The incidence of adverse events with alvimopan therapy was shown to be similar to that of placebo. CONCLUSIONS: Alvimopan is well tolerated and effective at accelerating GI recovery and time to discharge in patients who have undergone bowel resection or hysterectomy when administered prior to surgery and twice daily thereafter until discharge or for up to 7 days. Alvimopan potentially offers significant benefits for patients with POI over currently available treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1502-1510
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Alvimopan: μ-opioid receptor antagonist
  • Opioid-induced bowel dysfunction, postoperative ileus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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