A study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and chronic idiopathic constipation may not be separate diseases but instead exist on the same disease spectrum. University of Michigan researchers said the specific abdominal symptoms common to both conditions identify the patients most severely affected by constipation. Read the abstract.
Chronic constipation is a common medical complaint that may be linked to irritable bowel syndrome, but there are no good tests to diagnose either condition, says gastroenterologist David Johnson. Dietary changes and fiber may be recommended for IBS and constipation, and probiotics that change the gut microbiome also may be of some help, he says.
A Phase III study of lubiprostone showed it was safe for patients with irritable bowel syndrome and constipation who took it twice daily for 36 weeks. Marketed as Amitiza by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceutical, the drug is indicated for chronic idiopathic constipation and IBS-C, which often require long-term treatment.
Patients who took a combination pill of ibuprofen plus the acid reflux drug famotidine developed fewer gastric or duodenal ulcers than those who just got the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, Yale University researchers reported. The study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology included 1,533 patients who needed NSAID therapy for six months or more. Researchers said using just one pill could increase treatment compliance.
Forest Laboratories says midstage studies on linaclotide were successful and the drug will move to Phase III studies for chronic constipation and IBS. The once-daily drug showed improvements in weekly spontaneous bowel movement at most tested doses.