1 What is Gattex?

Brand: Gattex, Revestive

Generic: Teduglutide (Subcutaneous Route)

Gattex is used in injection form to treat short bowel syndrome (SBS) in patients who are receiving nutrition through parenteral route.

Short bowel syndrome is a condition in which food is not absorbed properly through the gut. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the Powder for Solution dosage form.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Gattex, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

  • Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.
  • Age-specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children. The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.
  • Pregnancy: Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “B” category, which means that clinical trials on animals have not revealed any harmful effects to the developing fetus or relevant studies have not been performed.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Bowel blockage
  • Cancer (bowels, stomach, liver, pancreas), active
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Kidney disease-The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Heart or blood vessel disease
  • Fluid imbalance
  • Pancreatitis

3 Proper Usage

To use Gattex correctly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Your doctor may order some blood tests or imaging studies (like colonoscopy) before starting this medicine. This procedure should be done within 6 months before or after the teduglutide treatment.

For people who do not need to be in a hospital, this medication may also be given at home. In that case, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to prepare and inject this medicine.

This medication is given as an injection (shot) under your skin, usually in the abdomen, thigh or forearms. 

Once you use a body area for the shot, make sure to change the body area for the next shot. Keep rotating the injection sites. Use a new needle every time you give a shot.

To avoid adverse effects, this drug should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person.

The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider.

Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage: This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Gattex, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Regular follow-up is necessary during and after the treatment. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment.

The doctor may order some blood tests and imaging studies like colonoscopy in order to determine the proper working of this drug.

If you have abdominal or stomach pain, severe constipation, nausea, or vomiting, or a severe rash after using this medicine, call your doctor right away.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Gattex. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • the decrease in the amount of urine
  • abdominal or stomach pain
  • full or bloated feeling
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • fast heartbeat
  • hoarseness
  • fever
  • hives
  • irritation
  • noisy, rattling breathing
  • itching
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • pressure in the stomach
  • swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
  • rash
  • redness of the skin
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • troubled breathing at rest
  • swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing or swallowing
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • weight gain
  • indigestion

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also, contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.

If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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