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Gastrointestinal medications

Bridgeman, Mary Barna PharmD; Dalal, Kavitha S. PharmD

doi: 10.1097/01.NURSE.0000470430.26719.95

At Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in Piscataway, N.J., Mary B. Bridgeman is a clinical associate professor. Kavitha S. Dalal is a critical care clinical pharmacist at Virtua in Marlton, N.J.

Unless otherwise specified, the information in the preceding summaries applies to adults, not children. Consult the package insert for information about each drug's safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Also consult a pharmacist, the package insert, or a comprehensive drug reference for more details on precautions, drug interactions, and adverse reactions.

Do you know how these drugs compare? Match the medications in Section I with the description in Section II.

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Section I

_____ 1. Linzess (Forest Labs and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals)

_____ 2. Akynzeo (Helsinn)

_____ 3. Entyvio (Millennium Pharmaceuticals)

_____ 4. Harvoni (Gilead)

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Section II

a. ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. This once-daily oral combination tablet is indicated for adults with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection. It can be administered with or without food for a 12- or 24-week treatment course, depending on whether the patient has cirrhosis or has been treated for chronic hepatitis C in the past. Tell patients to check with the prescriber before using other medications concurrently.

b. vedolizumab. A monoclonal antibody and integrin receptor antagonist, this drug is indicated for select adults with ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease. It's given I.V. over 30 minutes. The dose is repeated at 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks afterward. Therapy should stop if no therapeutic benefit is achieved by week 14.

c. netupitant and palonosetron. This combination product contains a serotonin-3 receptor antagonist (palonosetron) and a substance P/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist (netupitant). It's indicated to prevent cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Patients should take one capsule by mouth 1 hour before the start of chemotherapy. Monitor for hypersensitivity reactions and signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome (such as mental status changes, autonomic instability, and neuromuscular symptoms) especially in patients also taking other serotonergic drugs.

d. linaclotide. Indicated to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation in adults, this once-daily capsule should be taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day.

Resources available on request.

ANSWERS: 1d, 2c, 3b, 4a

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