Antidepressant Shows Promise in Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition, and a costly one. The gastrointestinal disorder accounts for 12 percent of primary care visits and costs our health care system $8 billion annually. Now a pilot study has found that paroxetine, a drug in the most common class of antidepressants, is effective and safe for treating IBS symptoms.From Duke University:Antidepressant Shows Promise in Treating Most Common Gastrointestinal DisorderIrritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition, and a costly one. The gastrointestinal disorder accounts for 12 percent of primary care visits and costs our health care system $8 billion annually. Now a pilot study at Duke University Medical Center has found that paroxetine, a drug in the most common class of antidepressants, is effective and safe for treating IBS symptoms. Prakash Masand, clinical professor of psychiatry, says 65 percent of patients in the study got better and suffered no significant side effects. “We found just the opposite to be the case, that they tolerated the drug better than patients who did not have IBS. All the gastrointestinal symptoms got better, starting approximately at week 1 and continuing through the course of the study.” Masand is now enrolling participants in a larger study, to learn whether the early findings will be confirmed. “It will make available a treatment for IBS, which is one of the most common medical disorders. It would really make a big difference in terms of treating an illness with a drug that is so safe and well-tolerated and has been used a lot.” I’m Cabell Smith for MedMinute.



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