FDA approves two new therapies for irritable bowel syndrome

FDA approves two new therapies for IBS
FDA approves two new therapies for IBS

HealthDay News — Two new therapies to treat irritable bowel syndrome accompanied by diarrhea in adults have been approved by the FDA.

The first drug, eluxadoline (Viberzi), is taken twice daily with food. It stimulates nervous system receptors that can reduce bowel contractions. Common side effects include constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. The most serious adverse reaction is a spasm in the sphincter of Oddi that can lead to pancreatitis, said the FDA in a press release.

The second drug, rifaximin (Xifaxan), is taken orally three times daily for 14 days. Patients with recurring symptoms can take a second 14-day dose if needed, the agency said. It was approved previously to treat travelers' diarrhea caused by E. coli and for reduction of the risk in adult patients of recurring overt hepatic encephalopathy.

It's also been approved to treat overt hepatic encephalopathy. The most serious side effect of rifaximin is an increase in alanine aminotransferase. If diarrhea does not improve or worsens after treatment, the patient should be evaluated for C. difficile enterocolitis. Nausea is a more common side effect.

"For some people, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be quite disabling, and no one medication works for all patients suffering from this gastrointestinal disorder," said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement.

"The approval of two new therapies underscores the FDA's commitment to providing additional treatment options for IBS patients and their doctors."

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