Patients experiencing pain from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) might find relief from an unlikely source.
Patients experiencing pain from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) might find relief from an unlikely source. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic reported that the neuro-pain inhibitor pregabalin, commonly used to treat fibromyalgia, could also mitigate IBS-related pain.
Pregabalin had been previously reported to help control partial seizures in epilepsy patients and pain caused by nerve damage from diabetes or spinal cord injuries, since it’s an anticonvulsant and neuropathic pain agent.
Lead author, Yuri Saito-Loftus, MD, presented results from the pilot study at the American College of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.
To understand the safety and efficacy of the medication, Saito-Loftus and colleagues assessed 85 IBS patients (between 18 and 70 years) who reported high levels of abdominal pain.
During the 12-week study period, patients who were administered pregabalin reported significant improvement in pain management than the group who received placebo. Furthermore, data indicated improvement in other IBS symptoms like bloating and diarrhea.
According to the preliminary results, pregabalin could be added to rather limited treatment options available to combat IBS and abdominal pain. However, Saito-Loftus highlighted the size of the study. “Our study does provide preliminary evidence that pregabalin may be an additional treatment option for patients with IBS who have failed other treatment options, but more research is needed."