The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Drugs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder characterized by chronic, intermittent abdominal pain or discomfort and altered bowel habits.1 It is subtyped according to the predominant bowel symptom as IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), mixed type (IBS-M), or unclassified (IBS-U).2 Since the exact cause of IBS is unknown, the goal of treatment is symptom control.3

DIET — Many patients with IBS report symptoms associated with meals or specific foods.4 Avoidance of gluten, gas-producing foods, and fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) may be effective in reducing some IBS symptoms.5-8 FODMAPs are poorly absorbed, rapidly fermented short-chain carbohydrates that ... more      

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