Low-dose naltrexone for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study.

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Low-dose naltrexone for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study.

Kariv R, Tiomny E, Grenshpon R, Dekel R, Waisman G, Ringel Y, Halpern Z.

Department of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, 6 Weizmann Street, Tel-Aviv, 64239, Israel.

Preclinical studies have shown that a very low dose of naltreoxone hydrochloride (NTX), an opiate antagonist, can block excitatory opioid receptors without affecting inhibitory opioid receptors, resulting in analgesic potency without side effects. The present study assessed the efficacy and safety of PTI-901 (low-dose NTX) treatment in Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Forty-two IBS patients participated in an open-label study. Participants received 0.5 mg PTI-901/day for 4 weeks and were evaluated during baseline, during treatment, and at 4-week follow-up. Patients recorded degree of abdominal pain, stool urgency, consistency, and frequency. Primary outcomes were number of pain-free days and overall symptom relief, evaluated by a global assessment score. Data were analyzed per protocol. Global assessment improved in 76% of 42 patients. During treatment, the mean weekly number of pain-free days increased from 0.5+/-1 to 1.25+/-2.14 (P=0.011). There were no significant adverse reactions. PTI-901 improves pain and overall feeling, and is well tolerated by IBS patients. A large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is justified.