Current and future pharmacological treatments for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Introduction: Diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) affects about one-third of patients with IBS, which is observed in about 12% of people across five continents. The ultimate goal in this field is to identify the underlying cause of symptoms in order to individualize education of the patient, and to provide optimal treatment of this highly prevalent condition. Areas covered: This review addresses the pharmacological treatments for IBS-D under three categories: drugs for IBS-D (i.e., the 5-HT3 antagonist, alosetron); drugs approved for other indications that are used in IBS-D (e.g., opioid agonists; other 5-HT3 antagonists; serotonergic psychoactive agents; bile acid binders; 5-ASA compounds; probiotics and non-absorbable antibiotics); as well as development of drugs that are likely to impact the management of IBS-D in the future (e.g., drug absorbents; TPH1 inhibitors; mast cell stabilizers; centrally acting benzodiazepines). The final section addresses key findings: regulatory roadblocks; weaknesses in the current research in this field so far and opportunities to address unmet needs including restoration of normal intestinal barrier function or permeability, and suppression within the intestines of local immune activation that is thought to trigger abnormal motor, sensory and secretory functions in IBS-D. Expert opinion: While symptomatic treatment of diarrhea is effective, there is a need for new treatments for the IBS-D complex. Greater understanding of the mechanisms in IBS-D has led to promising approaches to develop more efficacious therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1160
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal motor function
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pharmacological treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Current and future pharmacological treatments for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this