Hay Fever Medicine Can Also Alleviate IBS Symptoms

January 14, 2016
Amy Jacob

Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can reduce their symptoms with the substance ebastine found in histamines used to treat hay fever.

Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can reduce their symptoms with the substance ebastine found in histamines used to treat hay fever.

IBS patients are reported to experience sensitive bowels associated with increased pain perception. While experts already knew IBS patients’ bowels embodied sizable quantities of histamine, the specific link to hypersensitivity had not yet been uncovered.

In a recent study, Guy Boeckxstaens, MD, PhD, professor of gastroenterology, KU Leuven, Belgium, and his colleagues evaluated the effect ebastine that blocks the histamine 1 receptor on the nerves primarily so TRPV1’s sensitivity could not increase.

Boeckxstaens and team found that after a 12-week period, patients who were treated with ebastine had significantly less abdominal pain than the individuals who were part of the control group.

The findings indicated histamine does impact the pain receptor TRPV1.

In IBS patients, histamine interferes with the histamine 1 receptor, and blocking the histamine 1 receptor prevents the sensitizing effect of histamine on TRPV1.

As such, when taken together, the findings identify what triggers the IBS patients’ increased pain perception.

While existing treatment is limited to normalizing the defecation pattern, it does not eradicate the IBS patients’ abdominal pain. The researchers are optimistic this latest findings can work toward alleviating pain symptoms.