IBS Drug Eluxadoline Poses Increased Pancreatitis Risk to Patients Without Gallbladders — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 16, 2017

IBS Drug Eluxadoline Poses Increased Pancreatitis Risk to Patients Without Gallbladders

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM

Eluxadoline (Viberzi), used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, is contraindicated in patients without a gallbladder, given its increased risk for pancreatitis, the FDA said on Wednesday. The drug acts on various opioid receptors, thereby decreasing bowel contractions.

Since the drug was approved in 2015, the agency has received 56 reports of serious pancreatitis in patients without gallbladders who used eluxadoline. In some instances, pancreatitis symptoms began with just one or two 75-mg doses, both in patients with and without gallbladders. Some patients also developed sphincter of Oddi spasm. Two deaths have been reported.

Other approved remedies for these patients include bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol), loperamide (Imodium), diphenoxylate/atropine (Lomotil), simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon), alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex), and rifaximin (Xifaxan).

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