New therapies in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: what works and when

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to examine the evidence supporting the use of recently developed pharmacological treatments for IBS together with new evidence supporting more traditional therapies in order to understand where the new agents are best used in the treatment pathway.

Recent findings

There is evidence to support the use of traditional treatments such as antispasmodics, antidepressants and dietary alteration in IBS. New therapeutic agents such as Linaclotide, Lubiprostone, Plecanatide, Rifaxamin and Eluxadoline are all more effective than placebo in treating symptoms of IBS with Tenapanor being a promising new agent. The majority of patients, however, treated with these medications remain symptomatic and they are not suitable for use in all patients.


Traditional treatments such as antispasmodics, antidepressants, dietary and lifestyle modifications retain their importance in the treatment of IBS with the newer agents to be considered wherever these treatments are ineffective or poorly tolerated.

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