Narrow-band antibiotic may be effective for some forms of IBS

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 28, 2005

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An antibiotic that only affects bacteria in the gut may be beneficial for some patients with irritable bowel syndrome, according to a study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's annual meeting in November.

Patients were randomized to receive either the antibiotic rifaximin or a placebo pill every day for a week. Approximately 37% of those who received the drug had significant improvement, while only 16% of those who received placebo did. The most significant impact was on bloating and diarrhea, although no impact was found on constipation.

Researchers suggest that this drug may be able to address the small intestine bacterial overgrowth believed to play a part in the condition.

"These results clearly show that antibiotics offer a new treatment approach," said Mark Pimentel, MD, lead author and director of the gastrointestinal motility program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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