An Australian subscriber has alerted us to the side effects of Prepulsid, a drug which helps speed food through the stomach. In the package insert supplied with the drug, the manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceutical says that the drug can cause "mild abdo
This was not the experience of our subscriber, however. After taking the correct dosage for two days, she started to suffer mild diarrhea and flatulence, but this escalated to severe abdominal cramps which forced her to her bed. "I can assure you that these cramps were not mild; as for my intestines, it felt like a fermentation unit had started up, and it took a month for the resulting flatulence to settle down to a tolerable level. Three months later, I would not describe it as having completely settled down," she writes. So not only were the cramps not mild, they were also far from transitory.
Her doctor confirmed that Prepulsid was the likely cause.
Needless to say, she came off the treatment immediately. By doing so, she avoided some of the other side effects listed in the Data Sheet Compendium. These include headaches, light headedness and, more rarely, convulsions.
For those who are particularly unfortunate, liver function abnormalities have been reported, although no direct link to the drug has been proven.
Children under the age of 12, pregnant women and people with liver or kidney problems should not be given the drug. Normal dosage is three 10 mg tablets three times a day.