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Ann Intern Med. 2006 Oct 17;145(8):557-63.

The effect of a nonabsorbed oral antibiotic (rifaximin) on the symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized trial.

Author information

  • 1Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Burns and Allen Research Institute, and University of California, Los Angeles, Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90048, USA. pimentelm@cshs.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alterations in gut flora may be important in the pathophysiology of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether the nonabsorbed antibiotic rifaximin is more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms in adults with IBS.

DESIGN:

Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

SETTING:

2 tertiary care medical centers.

PARTICIPANTS:

87 patients who met Rome I criteria for IBS and were enrolled from December 2003 to March 2005.

INTERVENTIONS:

Participants who met enrollment criteria were randomly assigned to receive 400 mg of rifaximin 3 times daily for 10 days (n = 43) or placebo (n = 44). Eighty participants completed rifaximin therapy or placebo, and follow-up data were available for at least 34 participants per study group at any time point thereafter.

MEASUREMENTS:

A questionnaire was administered before treatment and 7 days after treatment. The primary outcome was global improvement in IBS. Patients were then asked to keep a weekly symptom diary for 10 weeks.

RESULTS:

Over the 10 weeks of follow-up, rifaximin resulted in greater improvement in IBS symptoms (P = 0.020). In addition, rifaximin recipients had a lower bloating score after treatment.

LIMITATIONS:

The major limitations of the study were its modest sample size and short duration and that most patients were from 1 center.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rifaximin improves IBS symptoms for up to 10 weeks after the discontinuation of therapy.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00259155.

PMID:
17043337
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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