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May 2011, Volume 41 Number 5 , p 15 - 15



Because intestinal microorganisms are thought to play a role in the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers have tested a minimally absorbed oral antibiotic to gauge its effects on common signs and symptoms of IBS. Two trials were conducted in patients who had IBS without constipation. They received either 550 mg of rifaximin or placebo three times a day for 2 weeks.After a 10-week follow-up, over 40% of patients taking rifaximin experienced significant relief of symptoms for at least 2 of the first 4 weeks after treatment, compared with 30% taking the placebo. The study emphasizes the need for further research into intestinal microorganisms and their effects on intestinal diseases such as IBS.Sources: Pimentel M, Lembo A, Chey WD, et al. Rifaximin therapy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome without constipation. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(1):22-32.The FDA has issued a warning that pregnant women taking the antiepileptic drug (AED) topiramate to prevent seizures or

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