Fibromyalgia Drug Shows Benefit in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Pregabalin significantly improved pain management in individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

A neuro-pain inhibitor used to treat fibromyalgia may help manage abdominal pain related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

“There currently are limited treatment options available to fight the abdominal pain associated with IBS,” said study author Yuri Saito Loftus, MD. “We theorized that pregabalin could potentially be helpful.”

The placebo-controlled study followed for 12 weeks a total of 85 IBS patients, ranging from 18- to 70-years-old, who reported high levels of abdominal pain. Participants who received pregabalin reported significant improvement in pain management, compared with individuals who were given a placebo.

Additionally, preliminary data showed improvement in other IBS symptoms, including diarrhea and bloating. Although the results showed promise, it was small in size, and more research needs to be done, according to the study authors.

“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,” Saito Loftus said.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas.

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