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Antibiotic Treatment Effective For Common Gastrointestinal Disorder

Posted Jan 05 2011 5:44pm

A ground-breaking antibiotic therapy is the first potential drug treatment to provide irritable bowel syndrome patients with long-lasting relief of their symptoms even after they stop taking the medication, according to a study published in the Jan. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Unlike other traditional therapies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, patients in these large studies reported relief of their symptoms for up to 10 weeks after completing treatment with rifaximin, says William D. Chey, M.D., professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Rifaximin is a minimally absorbed antibiotic that stays in the gut. Specifically, patients reported improvement in overall IBS symptoms, relief from bloating, less abdominal pain and improved stool consistency for up to 10 weeks, says Chey, one of the researchers on the study and director of the Michigan Bowel Control Program.

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