Movantik (naloxegol) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid-induced constipation, the agency said Tuesday.

Opioids are powerful painkillers that commonly cause constipation. Movantik's safety and effectiveness to treat the problem were evaluated in two clinical studies involving 1,352 people who had taken opioids for at least four weeks for non-cancer related pain.

The most common side effects of Movantik were abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache and excessive gas, the FDA said in a news release.

Manufacturer AstraZeneca will be required to do an additional study to further evaluate the drug's cardiovascular safety, the agency added.

AstraZeneca is based in Wilmington, Del.

More information

Visit the FDA to learn more.

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