IBS: What are effective treatment options for IBS?


Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), June 2000

Dr. Lee:
What are effective treatment options for IBS?

Dr. Marks:
There are few good studies of treatment in irritable bowel syndrome.

  1. Fiber--dietary fiber--has been studied, but the results are mixed. That is, some studies have shown benefit and others have not.
  2. Anti-depressants in low doses have been shown to be effective.
  3. The first drug specifically for irritable bowel syndrome recently was approved. This drug is alosetron (Lotronex). Alosetron has been shown to be effective in relieving diarrhea and cramps, but only in women with diarrhea as their main problem. It has been effective in less than half of patients.

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