Dr Mark Pimental and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind trial in 87 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) .
The patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years were randomized to rifaximin, an antibiotic that works only in the gut, or a placebo for 10 days.
Patients reported their symptoms for the next 10 weeks.
|37% taking rifaximin reported more than 50% improvements in symptoms|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
The team found that more than 50% improvement in symptoms was reported by more 37% who took rifaximin vs 15% taking placebo.
However, the researchers did not detect a difference in symptoms of diarrhea or constipation.
Dr Pimental's team cautions, “The study demonstrates improvement for a relatively small group of IBS patients, but side effects may be difficult to assess in such a small study when considering the large patient population with IBS.”
“A larger and longer study is necessary to evaluate the effects of treatment for other symptoms, such as constipation.”