Antibiotic may relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

January 6, 2011 2:26:15 PM PST
Patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome may have a new option.

A two-week course of an antibiotic relieved bloating and other symptoms of IBS, a common gastrointestinal disorder. It worked for more than two months after the treatment ended.

Researchers say the antibiotic rifaximin is the first treatment for IBS that gets at the underlying cause of the condition rather than just treating the symptoms.

Current treatments including anti-diarrheal and anti-constipation medications target only the symptoms of IBS.

The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.