Date: 07 Dec 2005

Alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, compared with placebo in postoperative ileus after major abdominal surgery

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Alvimopan is a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor (PAM-OR) antagonist for accelerating gastrointestinal recovery after surgery.


Patients undergoing open laparotomy (bowel resection, n = 418; hysterectomy, n = 197) were randomized to receive alvimopan 6 or 12 mg or placebo orally ≥2 h before surgery and then b.i.d. until hospital discharge (up to 7 days). The primary efficacy endpoint was time to gastrointestinal (GI) recovery (measured by toleration of solid food and passage of flatus/stool; GI-3). Secondary endpoints included time to GI-2 recovery (toleration of solid food and passage of stool) and hospital discharge order written (DCO).


Alvimopan did not significantly accelerate GI-3 compared with placebo [6 mg: hazard ratio (HR) = 1.20, p = 0.080; 12 mg: HR = 1.24, p = 0.038). However, after adjustment for significant covariates (sex/surgical duration), benefits were significant for both doses (6 mg: HR = 1.24, p = 0.037; 12 mg: HR = 1.26, p = 0.028). Alvimopan also significantly accelerated time to GI-2 (6 mg: HR = 1.37, p = 0.008; 12 mg: HR = 1.33, p = 0.018) and DCO (6 mg: HR = 1.31, p = 0.008; 12 mg: HR = 1.28, p = 0.015). Adverse events were similar between groups.


Alvimopan (6 or 12 mg) accelerates GI recovery and is well tolerated in patients undergoing open laparotomy.

An erratum to this article is available at