United Press International
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Antibiotics
LOS ANGELES, Nov 8, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Los Angeles scientists say they've determined a non-absorbable antibiotic may be an effective long-term treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
IBS is a disease affecting more than an estimated 20 percent of Americans. But the findings from a research team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center showed study participants benefited from the antibiotic use even after the course of treatment ended.
"This study is important as it is the first to show that the use of targeted antibiotics results in a more significant and long-lasting improvement in IBS symptoms," said Dr. Mark Pimentel, the study's lead author and director of the GI Motility Program at Cedars-Sinai. "These results clearly show that antibiotics offer a new treatment approach ... for people with IBS."
The randomized, double blind study involved 87 patients. Those receiving the antibiotic rifaximin experienced a 37 percent overall improvement of their IBS symptoms, as compared with 23 percent on the placebo.
IBS causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea or constipation and is one of the top 10 most frequently diagnosed conditions and affects women more often than men.
The research was presented during the recent American College of Gastroenterology's annual meeting in Honolulu.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International