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Movantik (Naloxegol) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages


What Is Movantik?

Movantik (naloxegol) is an orally administered prescription medication used to treat opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adults 18 and older.

Movantik contains the active ingredient naloxegol. Moreover, this medication belongs to a drug class called peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonists (PAMORAs).

PAMORAs lessen constipation without reducing the pain relief offered by opioids. Of note, they work differently than standard laxatives as OIC is different than normal constipation.

Specifically, Movantik works to treat constipation by preventing opioids from binding to the mu receptors (a class of opioid receptors) in the digestive tract. 

While no generic version of Movantik containing the active ingredient naloxegol is currently on the market, Movantik itself is available as an oral tablet to be taken by mouth.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Naloxegol

Brand Name(s): Movantik

Administration Route(s): Oral

Drug Availability: Prescription

Therapeutic Classification: PAMORA

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Naloxegol oxalate

Dosage Form(s): Tablet

What Is Movantik Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Movantik for the treatment of OIC.

Specifically, Movantik is approved for use in adults who have chronic pain that is not caused by active cancer. The drug can be used in adults whose pain is related to previous cancer or past cancer treatment.

Constipation is a common side effect of opioids. It occurs because opioids attach to receptors in the digestive tract called mu receptors, which slows down normal bowel function.

Opioids (painkillers) are used to treat severe or chronic pain. A few examples include codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Movantik is not intended for use in people who need frequent opioid dosage increases to treat their pain.

How to Take Movantik

Take Movantik by mouth once daily or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Take Movantik on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after your first meal of the day. Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking Movantik.

Before starting Movantik, stop taking any laxatives. However, laxatives may be used as needed if you still have constipation after three days of treatment with Movantik.

If you cannot swallow the tablets whole, crush the tablet to a powder and mix it in a glass with 4 ounces of water. Drink the mixture immediately. From there, refill the glass with 4 ounces of water, stir thoroughly, and drink the remaining mixture.

If you stop taking opioids, you should also stop Movantik. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before stopping any medication.

Storage

Store Movantik at room temperature, away from heat and moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or any area susceptible to high levels of moisture. Moreover, keep out of reach from children and pets.

How Long Does Movantik Take to Work?

Movantik starts working within six to 12 hours after you take your first dose. Keep in mind that people taking opioids for less than four weeks may be less responsive to Movantik.

If your constipation doesn’t get better within a few days, tell your healthcare provider. They may recommend a laxative if Movantik isn’t helping enough after three days of treatment.

What Are the Side Effects of Movantik?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Movantik include:

Severe Side Effects

Movantik rarely causes severe side effects that can be serious. However, call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you’re having a medical emergency. 

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Severe abdominal pain and/or severe diarrhea
  • Opioid withdrawal: Sweating, chills, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anxiety, irritability, yawning
  • Bowel perforation (a tear or hole in your digestive tract that may require surgery to be repaired): Intense abdominal pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or fever.

Dosage: How Much Movantik Should I Take?

Your healthcare provider will determine and administer the appropriate dose of Movantik for you.


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IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):

    • For constipation caused by opioids:

      • Adults—25 milligrams (mg) once a day in the morning for at least 4 weeks (together with narcotic pain medicines). Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

Healthcare providers may adjust the dosage of Movantik if you:

  • Have kidney problems (also known as renal impairment)
  • Take certain other medications that interact with Movantik
  • Develop bothersome side effects while taking Movantik

Taking Movantik during pregnancy may cause opioid withdrawal in the parent and the baby. Movantik typically isn’t used during pregnancy. As such, you and your healthcare provider can discuss the benefits and risks and decide on the best treatment option for you.

Movantik is not recommended for use while breastfeeding. It is unknown if Movantik passes into breast milk. Finally, Movantik is not approved for use in people under the age of 18 years old.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Movantik, try to take it as soon as possible that day. But, if you miss a day, just wait and take your next dose at the regular time. You should not double your dose or take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Movantik?

Overdose symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Opioid withdrawal

What Happens If I Overdose on Movantik?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Movantik, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn’t breathing after taking Movantik, call 911 immediately.

Precautions


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IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.

Do not take this medicine together with clarithromycin, itraconazole, or ketoconazole. Using these medicines together may cause or worsen opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, chills, diarrhea, irritability, stomach pain, sweating, and yawning.

Call your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain or diarrhea while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may cause a tear (perforation) in your stomach or bowels. Check with your doctor right away if you have a severe stomach pain that does not go away.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John’s wort) or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Movantik?

Movantik isn’t safe for everyone. You should not take Movantik if:

  • You have or had a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).
  • You are allergic to Movantik or any of its ingredients.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are currently breastfeeding.

What Other Medications Interact With Movantik?

Drug interactions occur when one medication affects how another medication works. Some drug interactions may be safely managed with dose adjustments by your healthcare provider, but some combinations should be avoided.

Before taking Movantik, talk to your healthcare provider about all of your current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, herbs, and supplements.

Some of the most important interactions to be aware of while taking Movantik include:

What Medications Are Similar?

The list below includes drugs that can be prescribed for opioid-induced constipation. It is not a list of drugs to take with Movantik. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare practitioner if you have questions:

  • Amitiza (lubiprostone): This medication works differently than Movantik to treat opioid-induced constipation.
  • Relistor (methylnaltrexone): This medication works in a similar way to Movantik to treat opioid-induced constipation.
  • Symproic (naldemedine): This medication works also in a similar way to Movantik to treat opioid-induced constipation.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Is Movantik a laxative?

    No. Movantik is a type of drug called a PAMORA. It works to treat constipation that’s specifically caused by taking opioid pain medication. Unlike laxatives, Movantik is not used for other types of constipation.


  • When can I expect to have regular bowel movements after starting Movantik?

    You should start to see the effects of Movantik within six to 12 hours after taking the first dose. It may take up to three days for the medication to reach its full effects in your body.


  • Can I take over-the-counter laxatives while taking Movantik?

    All other laxatives should be stopped before starting Movantik.

    If you do not notice improvement within three days of starting this medication, ask your healthcare provider to recommend an OTC laxative that you can take as needed to relieve constipation.


  • Is there a low-cost generic version of Movantik?

    Currently, there is no generic version of Movantik available. Movantik is a brand-name drug that contains the active ingredient naloxegol. The brand’s manufacturer offers a savings card for eligible people.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Movantik?

Constipation can be uncomfortable, especially when you already have chronic pain. Taking Movantik can help manage constipation that’s caused by taking opioid pain medication.

In addition to taking your medication as prescribed, you can use natural ways to relieve constipation:

  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet 
  • Drink more fluids
  • Exercise, such as riding a bike or taking a daily walk

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health’s drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your doctor before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.


By Patricia Weiser, PharmD

Patricia Weiser, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and freelance medical writer. She has more than 14 years of professional experience.



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