The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the drug Amitiza for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in women ages 18 and older.
The drug’s approval was announced April 29, but is being discussed at this week’s Digestive Disease Week 2008, the largest annual international meeting of digestive disease specialists, which takes place in San Diego.
Amitiza is now the only FDA-approved medical treatment for IBS with constipation, according to the agency.
IBS is seen more often in women than men and results in cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
"For some people IBS can be quite disabling, making it difficult for them to fully participate in everyday activities," said Dr. Julie Beitz, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA, in a news release. "This drug represents an important step in helping to provide medical relief from their symptoms."