New and Upcoming IBS Medications

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In the not-so-distant past prescription medicine options for IBS have been extremely limited. Hpwever this sad state of affairs is rapidly changing - new medications are coming onto the market and other possible medication options are going through safety trials. Here you will find an overview of the primary newcomers. Learning about your options can help you in the process of working with your doctor on an effective treatment plan for your IBS.

Newly Approved IBS Medicine


Linzess (linaclotide) has been approved for the treatment of constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) in adults. In Europe, the medication is called Constella. Linzess is a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist, which means that it prompts certain cells within your digestive system to increase the amount of fluid in your large intestine.

For more about Linzess, read:


Viberzi is a medication that affects opioid receptors in your digestive system so as to relieve the symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea for people who have diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). Because Viberzi is an opiate medication, it is classified as a controlled substance and there are some concerns about a potential for addiction.

To learn more about Viberzi, see:


Xifaxan is an antibiotic used to treat travelers' diarrhea and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO).

More recently it has been approved as a treatment for non-constipation IBS. Xifaxan works differently than most antibiotics as it does not enter into your bloodstream but rather is available to target bacteria in your small and large intestines.

To learn more about Xifaxan, read:

    New Medication Not Yet Approved in the U.S.

    Resolor/Resotron (Prucalopride)

    Prucalopride a 5-HT-4 agonist used for the treatment of chronic constipation. Although prucalopride is in the same class of medications as Zelnorm, it was designed differently so as to reduce the possibility of the serious side effects that resulted in Zelnorm being taken off the market.

    Medicine in Development

    The following medications are all in various stages of testing in terms of their safety and effectiveness:


    Asimadoline, a kappa opoid agonist, is currently undergoing clinical trials to assess its ability to safely treat IBS symptoms. Its effects appear to be greatest in terms of easing abdominal pain and discomfort.


    Elobixibat is a medication currently being investigated as a treatment for CIC. It works by decreasing the reabsorption of bile acids from the gallbladder, thus increasing the amount of these acids entering your large intestine which is thought to help to speed up the process of fecal matter through the colon.

    There is as of now, no clinical research on elobixibat's effectiveness on IBS-C.


    Plecanatide is currently undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for chronic constipation. Like Linzess, plecanatide is a GC-C agonist.


    Tenapanor is a medication for kidney disease, works by reducing the absorption of sodium in the digestive tract. This increase in the amount of sodium is thought to have the effect of increasing the amount of water in the large intestine and thus the medication is currently undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for IBS-C.


    Lacy, B., Chey, W. & Lembo, A. "New and Emerging Treatment Options for Irritable Bowel Syndrome" Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2015 11:1-19.

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