Researchers at Mayo Clinic have found that taking pregabalin may reduce the pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas.
IBS is a common and possibly chronic disorder that affects the large intestine in approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States, the majority of which are women. At this time, there is no known cause of IBS, but research indicates that it is the result of sensitivity of the large intestine to certain foods and stress. The main symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal discomfort, and abdominal pain.
The study’s author, Dr. Yuri Saito-Loftus, and her colleagues followed 85 patients ranging from 18 to 70 years of age with IBS who reported high levels of abdominal pain. Patients who received pregabalin reported significant improvement in pain management compared to those who received placebo. Preliminary data of the 12-week study also showed improvement in additional symptoms of bloating and diarrhea.
Because the study is small, Dr. Saito-Loftus warns that the results are not conclusive. She says, “Our study does provide preliminary evidence that pregabalin may be an additional treatment option for patients with IBS who have failed other treatment options, but more research is needed."
Reference: Mayo Clinic. (2016.) Pregabalin may lessen pain from irritable bowel syndrome, mayo Clinic study finds. [Press release.] Can be retrieved from http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pregabalin-may-lessen-pain-from-irritable-bowel-syndrome-mayo-clinic-study-finds