The following article is part of The Clinical Advisor’s coverage from the 2018 American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ annual meeting in Denver. Our staff will be reporting live on original research, case studies, and professional outreach and advocacy news from leading NPs in various therapeutic areas. Check back for ongoing updates from AANP 2018. 

DENVER — A 2-week course of treatment with rifaximin for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) may improve abdominal pain symptoms and provide durable response following treatment, according to research presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 National Conference.

Anthony Lembo, MD, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a post hoc analysis of a phase 3 trial that assessed the impact of a 2-week course of rifaximin on IBS-related abdominal pain as measured by abdominal pain scores. Response was defined as a ≥30% improvement in weekly mean abdominal pain score (measured on a scale from 0 to 10) for ≥2 weeks during the first 4 weeks following therapy. Time to abdominal pain recurrence through an additional 18 weeks of follow-up was assessed as well.

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A total of 2579 adults (mean age 46.4 years; 68.2% women; mean daily abdominal pain score 5.5) were administered rifaximin 550 mg three times daily for 2 weeks. The mean abdominal pain score 4 weeks following treatment was 3.6, reflecting a change from baseline of -1.9). Response was reported in 1384 (56.8%) of 2438 evaluable participants. Extended follow-up to 22 weeks following treatment yielded no recurrence of abdominal pain in 382 (35.6%) of 1384 evaluable participants.  Median time to relapse of abdominal pain was 14 weeks. Responders were assessed weekly for mean change from baseline in abdominal pain scores; improvements ranged from -3.3 to -2.7 during the additional 18 weeks of follow-up.

“Healthcare providers should evaluate abdominal pain in adults with IBS-D and develop an ongoing management plan to help improve this key symptom,” the authors concluded.

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Disclosure:  This study was supported by Salix Pharmaceuticals.  Please refer to the presentation abstract for investigators’ full disclosures.

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Lembo A, Rao S, Heimanson Z, Johnson A, Pimentel M. Characterization of abdominal pain response in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treated with rifaximin. Presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 National Conference. June 26-29, 2018; Denver, CO. Industry Scientific Poster 12.