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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews.

Effects of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) type 3 antagonists on symptom relief and constipation in nonconstipated irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Review published: 2008.

Bibliographic details: Andresen V, Montori VM, Keller J, West CP, Layer P, Camilleri M.  Effects of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) type 3 antagonists on symptom relief and constipation in nonconstipated irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2008; 6(5): 545-555. [PMC free article: PMC2587294] [PubMed: 18242143]

Quality assessment

This review evaluated the effectiveness of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) antagonists in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The authors concluded that 5-hydroxytryptamine antagonists significantly improved symptoms of non-constipated IBS and diarrhoea predominant IBS in men and women, but there was an increased risk of constipation. The authors' conclusions reflect the evidence presented and are likely to be reliable. Full critical summary

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analyses to estimate treatment efficacy and constipation rate of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) (5-HT(3)) antagonists in patients with nonconstipated (NC) or diarrhea-predominant (D)-irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

METHODS: Two reviewers independently searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science (January 1, 1966 to December 15, 2006) for randomized controlled trials of 5-HT(3) antagonists in IBS reporting clinical end points of the IBS symptom complex and safety parameters. Study characteristics, markers of methodologic quality, and outcomes for the intention-to-treat population for each randomized controlled trial were extracted independently.

RESULTS: We found 14 eligible randomized controlled trials of alosetron (n = 3024) or cilansetron (n = 1116) versus placebo (n = 3043) or mebeverine (n = 304). Random-effects meta-analyses found 5-HT(3) antagonists more effective than the comparators in achieving global improvement in IBS symptoms (pooled relative risk, 1.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49-1.72; I(2) = 0%) and relief of abdominal pain and discomfort (pooled relative risk, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.22-1.39; I(2) = 22%). Benefit was apparent for both agents, in patients of either sex. These agents were more likely to cause constipation (pooled relative risk, 4.28; 95% CI, 3.28-5.60, I(2) = 65%); there was less constipation with 5-HT(3) antagonists in D-IBS patients than in mixed populations (NC-IBS and D-IBS; relative risk ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.41-0.99). Nine patients (0.2%) using 5-HT(3) antagonists had possible ischemic colitis versus none in control groups.

CONCLUSIONS: 5-HT(3) antagonists significantly improve symptoms of NC-IBS or D-IBS in men and women. There is an increased risk of constipation with 5-HT(3) antagonists, although the risk is lower in those with D-IBS.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2013 University of York.

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