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Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(33):3638-45.

Current developments for the diagnosis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100485, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Current treatment options for the chronic gastrointestinal disorder irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have long been limited to symptomatic treatments due to lack of pathophysiologic understanding of the syndrome. Within the past 10 years, however, a number of new pharmacological targets have been identified that may aid in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Although only a limited number of new drug entities have entered the market in the past years, many new potential pharmacophores are evolving. Among them, several drugs are in the pipeline that target cholecystokinin or corticotropin-releasing factor receptors, serve as inhibitors for specific tryptophan hydroxylase iso-enzymes, modulate chloride secretion, influence immune responses via monoclonal antibodies or ATP-mediated pathways, and even normalize the gastrointestinal microflora via supplementation with probiotics. While new treatments that act via chloride secretion and immune modulation present with favorable outcomes in clinical trials, other novel therapies require further evaluation. This review is intended to provide a synopsis of current and emerging pharmacotherapies for IBS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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