Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

Font Size

Return of the Controversial Bowel Drug

Pulled After Deaths, Lotronex Is Back -- With Strict Limits on Use


How many people will take the drug? Eric Carter, MD, vice president of gastrointestinal clinical development for GlaxoSmithKline, says he doesn't know.

"Our hope is that there is a significant number of patients who might benefit," Carter tells WebMD.

There may well be quite a few. One in 10 women suffer from IBS diarrhea. Many of these women get little help from available treatments. However, only 1 in 20 people with IBS has severe disease, and not all of these people have diarrhea-predominant IBS.

When the FDA's advisory board met in April 2002 to consider Lotronex reapproval, a parade of patients testified that their lives would not be worth living without Lotronex. Many others, unable to attend because of IBS, submitted moving testimonials in writing.

"After 10 long years of suffering relentlessly, [Lotronex] removed the anxiety, the fear, the shame. ... It was a second chance at life!" writes Liza Kenney, a member of Lotronex Action Group, an IBS patient-advocacy organization. "The day Lotronex returns will indeed be the happiest day of my life and to countless other sufferers as well."

Others wrote to tell of their terrible experiences with the drug. Ann DuPre Royall took part in a clinical trial of Lotronex.

"I developed severe pain from constipation [and] nausea and I was doubled over in pain on the bathroom floor," Royall writes. "I was taken to [the hospital] where I spent two days. It left me so weak that it has taken me two years to feel better. ... Please do not give in to GlaxoSmithKline's request to re-introduce this horrible drug."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

filling glass of water from faucet
Prevention strategies to try.
stomach ache
From symptoms to treatments.
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
worried mature woman
Are they related?
IBS Trigger Foods
Supplements for IBS What Works
IBS Symptoms Quiz
digestive health
gluten free diet
digestive myths
what causes diarrhea
top foods for probiotics