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Fibromyalgia Drug Lessens IBS Abdominal Pain


October 17, 2016

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that patients suffering from pain related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may benefit from taking pregabalin, a neuro-pain inhibitor commonly used to treat fibromyalgia.

The results of the pilot study were presented October 17, 2016, at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas.
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Study author Yuri Saito Loftus, MD, and her colleagues (Mayo Clinic) conducted a placebo-controlled study of 85 patients (ages 18 to 70 years old) with IBS who reported high levels of abdominal pain.

After following the patients for 12 weeks, they saw that patients who received pregabalin reported significant improvement in pain management compared with those who received placebo. Preliminary data also showed improvement in other IBS symptoms including bloating and diarrhea.  

Dr Saito Loftus cautions that the study was small, thus the results are not definitive. She said in a statement: “Our study does provide preliminary evidence that pregabalin may be an additional treatment option for patients with IBS who have failed other treatment options, but more research is needed.”—Amanda Del Signore

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