Experts Reach Consensus on IBS Management

Published Online: Sunday, June 1, 2003

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is among the most common disorders gastroenterol-ogists and primary care physicians encounter. In the past 10 years, research strides have radically changed how patients with IBS are diagnosed and treated.

Late last year the American College of Gastroenterology Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Task Force developed a consensus document, An Evidence-Based Position Statement and Systematic Review on the Management of IBS in North America, which was published as a supplement to the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The aim of this document is to equip physicians with practical resources they can use to diagnose, treat, and manage IBS patients in their clinical practices.

The task force gave the highest recommendations (based on supporting evidence and quality of clinical trials) to the only 2 approved treatments for the multiple symptoms of IBS:

  • Tegaserod, indicated for the short-term treatment of women with IBS whose primary bowel symptom is constipation, and
  • Alosetron, indicated for the treatment of women with severe diarrhea-predominant IBS who have failed conventional IBS therapy.

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