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Antidepressant found to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in adolescents
Date:5/1/2008

and an IBS quality-of-life questionnaire.

The results showed that patients receiving amitriptyline were more likely to experience:

  • An improvement in overall quality of life at six, 10 and 13 weeks.
  • A reduction in IBS-associated diarrhea at six and 10 weeks.
  • A reduction in pain near the belly button at 10 weeks.
  • A reduction in pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen at six, 10 and 13 weeks.

Bahar said that more than half of eligible patients, or their parents or guardians, refused to enroll in the study because they were uncomfortable with using an antidepressant medication of any kind, citing negative reports in the media about their side effects and the Food and Drug Administration's formal 2004 "black box" warnings regarding the increased potential for suicide in children using antidepressants.

"However, the dose of AMI (amitriptyline) used in this study, as well as IBS treatment for adults, is far less than the dose to treat depression," Bahar said. "At these low levels, it could be considered a remedy to treat neuropathic pain associated with chronic pain symptoms, rather than an antidepressant or psychotropic medication."

The next stage of research will look at the long-term follow-up of these patients to determine who will continue to stay well on the medication, whose symptoms resolve spontaneously and what other medications can be used as an alternative to amitriptyline for adolescents with IBS.


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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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