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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 936960, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Benefits from Long-Term Treatment in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Department of Preclinical Development, Menarini Ricerche SpA, Via Sette Santi 1, 50131 Firenze, Italy

Received 12 September 2011; Accepted 21 September 2011

Academic Editor: Per G. Farup

Copyright © 2012 Stefano Evangelista. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is known that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease of cyclic nature characterized by recurrent symptoms. IBS patients should receive, as initial therapeutic approach a short course of treatment which, if effective, has the additional value of confirming the diagnosis. Long-term treatment should be reserved to diagnosed IBS patients with recurrent symptoms. Clinical trials with stabilized therapies and new active treatments showed an improvement of the symptoms over placebo that is often time-dependent but with high relapse rates (around 40%–50% when stopping treatment). Relapse is not always immediate after stopping treatment and the recent data from OBIS trial with otilonium bromide or with psychotherapy, showed that due to different chemico-physical characteristics of the drugs or the psychosomatic impact to the disease not all treatment gave the same relapsing rate if compared to placebo. Results of IBS clinical trials with different therapies tailored to the patient needs indicate that a cyclic treatment therapy is advisable to counteract the nature of the disease.