Lubiprostone is a novel therapy indicated for treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults.
Two twelve-week, independent studies showed patients who received lubiprostone were nearly twice as likely as those who did not receive the treatment to report moderate or significant relief of IBS symptoms.
Endpoints included abdominal discomfort, stool consistency, straining and others. Lubiprostone was also well-tolerated, with only one percent of patients experiencing serious adverse events and only 22 percent of patients experiencing related adverse events, compared with 21 percent of patients on placebo.
The studies included more than 1,100 patients, most of whom were female (91.6%) and aged 18-65 years (91.7%). Participants were given either lubiprostone or placebo for 12 weeks and asked to rate their IBS symptoms. To be considered a monthly responder, patients had to report moderate relief four out of four weeks or significant relief two out of four weeks. Overall responders were defined as those who had been monthly responders two out of three months.
“The lubiprostone study demonstrates the continuing need for new and emerging therapies for IBS, especially for women,” said Douglas A. Drossman, M.D., Co-Director, University of North Carolina Center for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders in Chapel Hill, N.C., and lead author of the study. “We believe more research needs to be done to better determine lubiprostone’s benefits and tolerability, but this study suggests people suffering from IBS and constipation may soon have another option for relief.”