In the first study of its kind, researchers discovered that rifaximin, an antibiotic used to treat diarrhea, is an effective treatment for abdominal bloating and flatulence, including in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients.
This research is published in the February issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.
In this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, researchers at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon treated 124 patients with rifaximin therapy and found that it was effective at relieving the symptoms of bloating and excess gaseousness by way of reducing the amount of hydrogen gas produced in the large intestine. And because rifaximin is non-absorbable, there are no side effects, making it suitable for chronic use.
Research has shown that these symptoms are common and often more disturbing to IBS patients, as well as being harder to treat, than the commonly associated diarrhea and constipation. Fortunately, among the patients with IBS in the trial, a favorable response was also noted, which lasted even through the post-treatment phase of the study.