Clinical evidence to support current therapies of irritable bowel syndrome

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Abstract

This review summarizes the clinical evidence to support current therapies in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Fibre is indicated at a dose of at least 12 g per day in patients with constipation-predominant IBS. Loperamide (and probably other opioid agonists) are of proven benefit in diarrhoea-predominant IBS: loperamide may also aid continence by enhancing resting anal tone. In general, smooth muscle relaxants are best used sparingly, on an 'as needed' basis, as their overall efficacy is unclear. Psychotropic agents are important in relieving depression and of proven benefit for pain and diarrhoea in patients with depression associated with IBS. Further trials with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are awaited. Psychological treatments including hypnotherapy are less widely available, but may play an important role in relief of pain. In summary, current therapies targeted on the predominant symptoms in IBS are moderately successful. New therapies are needed to more effectively relieve this syndrome, not just symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Supplement
Volume13
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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