Pain relief remains a significant challenge in the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): “Does anything really help relieve the pain in patients with IBS?”. Interventions aimed at pain relief in patients with IBS include diet, probiotics or antibiotics, antidepressants, antispasmodics, and drugs targeting specific gastrointestinal receptors such as opioid or histamine receptors. In the systematic review and meta-analysis published in this journal, Lambarth et al. examined the literature on the role of oral and parenteral anti-neuropathic agents in the management of pain in patients with IBS. This review article appraises their assessment of the efficacy of the anti-neuropathic agents amitriptyline, pregabalin, gabapentin, and duloxetine in the relief of abdominal pain or discomfort, and impact on overall IBS severity and quality of life. This commentary provides an update of current evidence on the efficacy of the dietary and pharmacological treatments that are available or in development, as well psychological and cognitive behavioral therapy for pain in IBS. Advances in recent years augur well for efficacious treatments that may expand the therapeutic arsenal for pain in IBS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems