Background : In the USA, tegaserod is contraindicated in patients with a history of bowel obstruction, abdominal adhesions or symptomatic gall-bladder disease due to a non-significant difference in abdominal surgery between tegaserod-using and placebo-using patients in Phase III trials.
Aim : To calculate the incidence of abdominal and pelvic surgery in tegaserod-using and placebo-using patients in randomized controlled trials and to assess the possible association between medication and surgery, using pre-specified criteria in a blind adjudication procedure.
Methods : Primary study selection criteria included: (i) randomized controlled trial; (ii) comparison of tegaserod vs. placebo; and (iii) results reporting the incidence of abdominal and pelvic surgery. A panel of experts in epidemiology and functional bowel disorders reviewed the history of each patient who underwent surgery. Experts were blind with regard to whether patients used tegaserod or placebo. Using pre-specified criteria, experts rated the likelihood of an association between medication use and surgery.
Results : Thirteen randomized controlled trials (n =9857 patients) met the primary study selection criteria. No significant difference in the incidence of abdominal/pelvic surgery was identified between tegaserod-using and placebo-using patients: pelvic surgery, 0.16% vs. 0.19% (P = 0.80); abdominal surgery (non-cholecystectomy), 0.15% vs. 0.19% (P = 0.61); cholecystectomy, 0.13% vs. 0.03% (P = 0.17); total abdominal/pelvic surgery, 0.44% vs. 0.41% (P = 1.00). Post-adjudication, there was no significant difference in the incidence of abdominal/pelvic surgery between tegaserod-using and placebo-using patients.
Conclusion : Data from randomized controlled trials demonstrate a similar incidence of abdominal/pelvic surgery in tegaserod-using and placebo-using patients.