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Drug brings relief for many IBS patients who experience constipation
Date:5/18/2008

SAN DIEGO, Calif. Many patients may soon find relief from the bloating, cramping, abdominal pain and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

Lubiprostone, known by the brand name AMITIZA, was just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in women with IBS plus constipation, thanks in part to University of Michigan Health System research that demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the drug for treatment of IBS-C.

Led by U-M gastroenterologist William D. Chey, M.D., the studies show that lubiprostone significantly improves all of the symptoms associated with IBS-C in many women.

Results from these studies will be presented on May 18 and May 19 at Digestive Diseases Week in San Diego.

We found that individuals who were treated with AMITIZA were nearly twice as likely to experience improvement in their IBS symptoms compared to individuals who were treated with placebo," says Chey, director of the Gastrointestinal Physiology Laboratory and professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School. Right now, it is the only FDA-approved treatment available that addresses the entire clinical spectrum of symptoms related to IBS-C.

IBS, an often painful disorder of the lower intestine, affects between 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population.

While IBS is the second-leading cause of work absenteeism behind the common cold, Chey says fewer than half of patients with IBS seek medical treatment. And, he says, most over-the-counter medicines commonly used to treat symptoms fiber, laxatives and stool stimulants dont address the bloating and pain associated with IBS.

Most patients with IBS tend to fall into two categories: IBS-C or IBS with diarrhea. IBS-C is more common among older adults, while IBS-D tends to be seen more in younger patients.

Since the majority of patients with IBS are women, studies involving IBS tend to be made up of predominately femal
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Contact: Krista Hopson
khopson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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