The FDA has issued a warning
that the drug product Viberzi (generic name eluxadoline), which is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, should not be used in patients who do not have a gallbladder. This has come from an FDA review that has discovered these patients have an increased risk of developing serious pancreatitis. The risk is serious enough to lead to hospitalization or death. The condition pancreatitis can be caused by spasm of a certain digestive system muscle in the small intestine.
Irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS) is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. IBS can be classified as either diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D), constipation-predominant (IBS-C), or with alternating stool pattern (IBS-A) or pain-predominant. Symptoms tend to come and go and although there is no cure for IBS, but symptoms can often be eased with treatment. The use of the Viberzi concerns the IBS-D condition.
To address the issue the FDA is working with the Viberzi manufacturer, the pharmaceutical company Allergan, to address the newly identified safety concerns. Viberzi is a prescription only medicine used for adults. The Viberzi product works by decreasing bowel contractions, leading to a reduction of diarrhea. In patients with IBS-D, Viberzi can additionally help ease stomach-area or abdomen pain and improve stool consistency. Patients affected, especially those who have stocks of the medication, should talk to a health care professional.
In other news, Digital Journal
reported on interesting research where tarantula venom was being studied for use by people suffering from IBS. By looking at how and where key toxins attack different parts of the nervous system, researchers can identify some toxins that could be used as painkillers.