The practice of pharmaceuticals funding for studies on their own drugs is stupid. There’s no way in hell I’m going to trust this antibiotic really helps. The doc even admits the results are in the lower spectrum of clinically relevant. Data can be easily manipulated to be more favorable than it really is.

The use of antibiotics is boarding on ludicrous levels. It’s in our soaps, in our food and in our bodies.

Amplify’d from

Two weeks of treatment with an already well-known antibiotic appears to offer relief to those suffering from at least one type of irritable bowl syndrome, new research finds.

IBS is a common gastrointestinal ailment that’s marked by abdominal pain, severe bloating, diarrhea or constipation, or both. Treatments for the condition are few and usually involve dietary and lifestyle changes.

Two industry-funded studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS — a form that only a minority of IBS patients have.

A total of 1,200 patients took either 550 milligrams of rifaximin or placebo pills, three times a day, for two weeks. Overall, 41 per cent of patients on rifaximin reported “adequate relief” for at least two weeks, compared to 32 per cent on dummy pills.

The treated patients said they had less bloating and abdominal pain, and improved stool consistency. The benefits lasted for the 10 weeks they were followed.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Jan Tack of the University of Leuven in Belgium, noted that the difference between the treated and the untreated groups was “in the lower spectrum of what is considered to be clinically relevant.” But the results were nonetheless notable.

The study was designed and funded by rifaximin’s maker, Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc. — a fact disclosed by the researchers.

Salix, which markets rifaximin as a treatment for traveller’s diarrhea under the name Xifaxan in the U.S., is seeking to expand the drug’s use to IBS. A decision from the Food and Drug Administration is expected in March.

Tack urged doctors to proceed with caution until more research is done on rifaximin in IBS.

He notes that with the high prevalence of IBS – as many as one in five Americans and Canadians are thought to suffer from the condition – there are worries about how the large-scale use of poorly absorbed antibiotics would have on antibiotic-resistance.

For that reason, he urges the antibiotic be restricted to those who haven’t responded to other IBS treatments.