A clinical study published in the January issue of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that eluxadoline (Viberzi) reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) for some sufferers.
The drug provided 30% of participants with a reduction in abdominal pain and diarrhea at least 50% of the time.
“This drug offers another option for patients who have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) with diarrhea who have not found relief with currently available treatment,” Anthony Lembo, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston told HealthDay.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sometimes called “spastic colon” is characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea and/or constipation.
The published results are from two Phase III randomized, multi-center, multi-national, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, conducted by Dr. Lembo and colleagues.
The researchers studied 1,280 people in Study 1 and 1,145 people in Study 2, where they received treatment with Viberzi 75 mg, Vibersi 100 mg, or placebo twice daily. Overall, the participants were a mean age of 45 years (ranging from 18 to 80 years), 66% female, 86% white, 11% black, and 2.7% Hispanic.
“Significantly more IBS-D sufferers treated with Viberzi experienced reductions in diarrhea and abdominal pain, when compared to the placebo group,” said the drug’s manufacturer, Allergan (NYSE: AGN), in a press release.
While more than 30% of participants taking the drug had improvement in their symptoms at least 50% of the time, those taking a placebo gained nearly a 20% improvement at least 50% of the time.
“Eluxadoline is a new therapeutic agent that reduced symptoms of IBS with diarrhea in men and women, with sustained efficacy over 6 months in patients who received the 100-mg dose twice daily,” the study’s authors concluded.
The findings from the study were the basis of Allergan’s FDA approval of the drug for IBS with diarrhea.
If you have symptoms of rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and weight loss, get checked by your doctor, as the symptoms of IBS may indicate a more serious health condition, like colon cancer.