Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter
Drugs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder, occurring in up to 15% of the US population; it is 2-2.5 times more frequent in women than in men.1 IBS is characterized by chronic, intermittent abdominal pain or discomfort accompanied by altered bowel habits. Since the underlying mechanisms of disease remain unclear, management of IBS focuses on symptom control.

Many other conditions can mimic IBS.2 Celiac disease, lactose intolerance and other food intolerances, for example, can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. Many drugs can also cause or increase the symptoms associated with IBS, and stopping them or reducing the dosage may have the desired therapeutic effect.


Dietary factors may exacerbate IBS symptoms in up to 60% of patients.3 Patients with mild IBS may reduce symptoms by decreasing their intake of common food triggers, such ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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Title: Drugs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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