Amitriptyline Helps Relieve IBS Symptoms; Study Results Are “Hugely Encouraging”

A cheap and widely available prescription drug can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in patients seen in general practitioner (GP) surgeries, new research presented October 16, 2023 at UEG Week 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark, has found. [UEG stands for United European Gastroenterology.] Amitriptyline, which is commonly used at low doses for a range of health concerns, has been found to improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms too, according to the results of the ATLANTIS trial. Led by researchers at the Universities of Leeds, Southampton, and Bristol and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the study was conducted in primary care. GPs prescribed the drug and patients managed their own dose based on the severity of their symptoms, using an adjustment document designed for the trial. Most people with IBS are seen and managed in primary care by their GP, which means that the results of this trial are likely to be applicable to many people with the condition. The results, published October 16, 2023 in The Lancet, showed that patients taking amitriptyline were almost twice as likely to report an overall improvement in symptoms as those taking a placebo. The open-access article is titled “Amitriptyline at Low-dose and Titrated for Irritable Bowel Syndrome As Second-Line Treatment (ATLANTIS): A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial in Primary Care.” 

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