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Systematic review with meta-analysis
In irritable bowel syndrome, antispasmodics and antidepressants improve abdominal pain and global assessment and symptom scores, but there is no evidence for the effectiveness of bulking agents
  1. Alexander C Ford
  1. Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Alexander C Ford
    Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, St. James's University Hospital, Room 125, 4th Floor, Bexley Wing, Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7TF, UK; alexf12399{at}

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract characterised by abdominal pain or discomfort, associated with a change in either frequency, or form of stool. The condition is chronic, with a relapsing and remitting natural history,1 and affects up to one in five people in the general population. IBS represents a significant economic burden to the health service, and there is no known structural cause to explain the symptoms that sufferers report. Therapy is therefore directed towards relief, or improvement, of symptoms. However, there remains controversy about which treatments are effective.


Ruepert et al searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL …

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