Ask Doctor K: Irritable Bowel Syndrome May Have Many Causes

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New Drug Shows Promise in Treating Diarrhea-Associated Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Assessments of participants quality of life using the 34-item Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life (IBS-QOL) questionnaire were completed 2 weeks before and 12 weeks after the start of treatment. Baseline IBS-QOL total scores averaged 53.2 points on a 100-point scale. Based on previous research, investigators defined a 14-point improvement in symptoms on the IBS-QOL scale as the minimally clinically relevant improvement.4 A clinically relevant improvement in IBS-QOL scores occurred in 48% of placebo-treated patients and a greater portion (more than 65%) of patients receiving eluxadoline at a dosage of 100 mg daily (number needed to treat [NNT] 6). A much greater, 22-point, improvement occurred in 25% of patients receiving placebo compared with more than 47% of patients receiving 100-mg eluxadoline daily (NNT 5).4 Eluxadoline acts as a mu opioidreceptor agonist and delta opioidreceptor antagonist. According to Furiex, the most common adverse events observed with the medications use include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. However, these adverse events occurred in a similar portion of patients receiving placebo.5 Fred Eshelman, founder and chairmen of Furiex, has predicted that if eluxadoline is approved, it will generate annual sales totaling $750 million to $1 billion.1 References 1. Furiex irritable bowel syndrome drug succeeds in large trials. Reuters website. Accessed February 2014. 2. Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of JNJ-27018966 in the treatment of patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-d) (protocol JNJ-27018966IBS3001).

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