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New treatments needed for irritable bowel syndrome

ped patients cope with IBS but generally without improving their bowel symptoms. Hypnosis has proven beneficial is randomised trials, including the long term, but limited availability of this treatment is a major drawback.

Most doctors and most (but not all) patients prefer to use drug therapy, ranging from antispasmodics to treat pain to serotonin antagonists to combat urgency and diarrhoea, and soluble fibres to improve pain and bowel habit. Tricyclic antidepressants can also prevent pain especially where diarrhoea is one of the symptoms present. But true drug effects in trials (10-15%) were smaller than the placebo effect (40-50%).

Professor Spiller concludes: "There remains a substantial unmet need for more effective remedies for IBS."


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Contact: Robin Spiller
Robin.Spiller@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-582-310-322
Lancet
10-May-2007


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