This was posted to the Co-Cure Mailing List:From CF Alliance <cf_alliance###yahoo.com>: New IBS Drug May Help Stop 'Silent Suffering': Cilansetron Relieves Pain, Improves Quality of Life by Peggy PeckWebMD Medical News, Reviewed By Michael Smith, MDNov. 1, 2004 -- People with irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) often suffer in silence, but a new IBS drug mayhelp patients resume normal life, according toresearchers.An IBS drug called cilansetron may be approved as soonas early 2005, Kevin Olden, MD, professor of medicineat the University of South Alabama in Mobile, tellsWebMD. Olden is one of several researchers studyingcilansetron who presented studies at the 69th AnnualScientific Meeting of the American College ofGastroenterology."We think that most patients suffer in silence," saysIBS expert Harris Clearfield, MD, professor at DrexelUniversity College of Medicine in Philadelphia. "It isnot something that people will typically discuss withfriends."Without seeking medical treatment, patients often willtry to treat IBS on their own using over-the-counterdrugs such as Imodium that are "helpful for treatingdiarrhea but don't address the abdominal pain," saysLin Chang, MD, of the Center for NeurovisceralSciences & Women's Health at UCLA. What is excitingabout the new IBS drug, Chang tells WebMD, is that itappears to treat the diarrhea and the abdominal pain.Especially encouraging, says Olden, is the findingthat the IBS drug "appears to work in men." SeveralIBS drugs have demonstrated some effectiveness inwomen but little or none in men.Like the IBS drug Zelnorm, the new drug treats IBS byblocking serotonin receptors. But they block differentreceptors in the digestive system. The IBS drugcilansetron is being studied for patients whopredominantly have diarrhea from IBS, while Zelnorm isused for patients who predominantly have constipationfrom IBS.In one study on almost 700 patients, Philip Miner, MD,of the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Researchreported that 52% of patients taking the IBS drug hadrelief of abdominal pain and discomfort compared with37% of patients taking placebo pills. In addition, 51%of those taking the IBS drug had relief of diarrheacompared with 26% who improved on a placebo.Among women, 55% of the IBS drug group had relief ofpain vs. 43% of the placebo group. And 56% of womentaking the drug had relief of "abnormal bowel habits,"says Miner.Among men, 45% had relief of abdominal pain with theIBS drug and 39% had relief of abnormal bowel habits.In a second study in nearly 340 men and women, Oldenreported that patients taking cilansetron had twicethe improvement in quality of life compared withpatients taking placebos.G. Richard Locke III, MD, a gastroenterologist at theMayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., tells WebMD that thequality-of-life improvements "may be more meaningfulthan traditional clinical measures. Imagine if you hadto 'go' right now. I mean right now. And imagine thathappened all the time. How would your life be? Sure,you could walk to the store or shop in malls, but youcouldn't do that without knowing exactly where thebathroom is. That's what quality of life means."--------------------------------------------------------SOURCES: 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of theAmerican College of Gastroenterology, Orlando, Fla.,Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2004. Kevin Olden, MD, professor ofmedicine, University of South Alabama. HarrisClearfield, MD, professor, Drexel University Collegeof Medicine, Philadelphia. Lin Chang, MD, Center forNeurovisceral Sciences & Women's Health, UCLA. PhilipMiner, MD, Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research.G. Richard Locke III, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.=====-CF Alliance offers the following CFS/ME/FM services FREEof charge worldwide: Info Website, Pen Pal Program,Newsletter, Patient-Recommended Good Doctor List, and FreeHealth Book Events.