Few medicines have proven
consistently helpful and all medicines have side effects, so medicine should
be used for specific symptoms that disrupt your normal daily activities.
If you also have another illness, such as depression, that triggers
symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, medicine for that illness may be
Alosetron, a medicine that decreases abdominal
sensitivity, has been shown to relieve symptoms in some women who have severe
diarrhea and who have not responded to other treatments. Although this medicine
was previously removed from the market when its use was shown to contribute to
ischemic bowel disease (which occurs when there is not
enough blood flowing to the intestines), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) reapproved alosetron for limited use in IBS. Specific guidelines for the
use of alosetron require health professionals prescribing it to sign a
certificate and patients to sign a consent form.