A constipation drug has been approved for use by the NHS in England.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended prucalopride (Resolor) as a treatment option for some women with chronic constipation in whom laxatives have not provided adequate relief.
The guidance recommends that prucalopride should only be considered in women who have tried at least two different types of laxatives from different classes – at the highest tolerated recommended doses – for at least six months, but have not had relief from constipation, and in whom invasive treatment is being considered.
If treatment with prucalopride is not effective after four weeks, the benefit of continuing treatment should be reconsidered. The drug is manufactured by Movetis.
Chronic constipation affects on average two to three times as many women as men, with prevalence rates of around 10 per cent in women under 65 years of age in the UK. Rates are often higher, around 20 per cent, in women over 65 years of age.
NICE clinical and public health director Professor Peter Littlejohns said: “Chronic constipation, although not life-threatening, can have a significant effect on quality of life, often accompanied by a host of unpleasant symptoms, like irritability, lethargy and painful bloating.
“We are pleased, therefore, to be able to recommend prucalopride as a clinically and cost effective treatment for some women whose chronic constipation has not been managed with standard laxatives.”