Long-term efficacy and safety of otilonium bromide in the management of irritable bowel syndrome: a literature review
John K Triantafillidis, George Malgarinos
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Unit, IASO General Hospital, Athens, Greece
Abstract: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort and altered bowel habits. The disease affects a large part of the world population. The clinical course is mostly characterized by a cyclic recurrence of symptoms. Therefore, IBS patients should receive, as an initial therapeutic approach, a short course of treatment, and long-term treatment should be reserved for those patients with recurrent symptoms. The available clinical trials show that significant improvement of the symptoms over placebo could be achieved with various drugs, although this improvement is frequently time dependent and with high relapse rates after the cessation of the treatment. In a proportion of patients, clinically obvious relapse could appear long after stopping the treatment. Some of the available pharmacologic agents, including otilonium bromide (OB), are able to significantly prolong the time to the appearance of relapse, compared with placebo. As a consequence, some authors suggest that a cyclic treatment could be of benefit. Antispasmodic drugs have been used for many years in an effort to control the symptoms of IBS. OB is a poorly absorbed spasmolytic drug, exerting significantly greater control of the symptoms of IBS compared with placebo. Recent data suggest that the drug could effectively be used for the long-term management of patients with IBS. The aim of this review is to provide the reader with an evidence-based overview of the efficacy and tolerability of OB in the long-term management of IBS patients, based on the results of the clinical trials published so far.
Keywords: irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, treatment, otilonium bromide
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