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Investigational agents for the irritable bowel syndrome.

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2010 Oct;19(10):1161-1178

Authors: Ghaith O, El-Halabi M, Hashash JG, Sharara AI

Importance of the field: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder with significant health and economic consequences. The etiology of IBS is complex and appears to be multifactorial. Traditional IBS therapies have been directed primarily at the relief of individual symptoms but have been largely disappointing. This has triggered the search for newer treatment strategies with improved patient outcomes. Areas covered in this review: Enhanced knowledge about the putative pathophysiology of IBS has allowed the identification of new mechanistic targets for treatment. Our aim is to review emerging and promising drugs in the treatment of IBS based on disease pathophysiology. Data were extracted using Medline and PubMed search engines until January 2010. Abstracts were identified through 'Web of Science' and abstract supplements of major gastrointestinal scientific meetings. Drugs were classified according to mechanism of action and those with efficacy in trials involving human subjects examined. What the reader will gain: Additional insight into the pathophysiology as well as current and prospective treatments of IBS. Take home message: A multitude of putative drug targets have been identified and some novel treatments have progressed through to human clinical trials, but very few will be approved for the market in the near future. Moreover, and in keeping with the complex and multifactorial nature of this syndrome, it is unlikely that there will be one dominant and universally effective form of therapy for all IBS patients.

PMID: 20836617 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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