On-demand treatment with alverine citrate/simeticone compared with standard treatments for irritable bowel syndrome: results of a randomised pragmatic study.Int J Clin Pract. 2014 Feb; 68(2):245-54.IJ
In routine practice, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms are often difficult to be relieved and impair significantly patients' quality of life (QoL). A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study has shown the efficacy of alverine citrate/simeticone (ACS) combination for IBS symptom relief.
As IBS symptoms are often intermittent, this pragmatic study was designed to compare the efficacy of an on-demand ACS treatment vs. that of usual treatments.
Rome III IBS patients were enrolled by 87 general practitioners who were randomly allocated to one of two therapeutic strategies: on-demand ACS or usual treatment chosen by the physician. The primary outcome measure was the improvement of the IBSQoL score between inclusion and month 6.
A total of 436 patients (mean age: 54.4 years; women: 73.4%) were included, 222 in the ACS arm and 214 patients in the usual treatment arm, which was mainly antispasmodics. At 6 months, improvement of IBSQoL was greater with ACS than with the usual treatment group (13.8 vs. 8.4; p < 0.0008). The IBS-severity symptom score (IBS-SSS) was lower with ACS than in the usual treatment arm with a mean (SE) decrease of 170.0 (6.6) vs. 110.7 (6.7), respectively (p = 0.0001). An IBS-SSS < 75 was more frequent in the ACS group (37.7% vs. 16.0%; p < 0.0001). Improvement of both abdominal pain and bloating severity was also greater with the on-demand ACS treatment, which was associated with both lower direct and indirect costs.
After 6 months, on-demand ACS treatment led to a greater improvement of QoL, reduced the burden of the disease and was more effective for IBS symptom relief than usual treatments.