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Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(8), 2380-2386; doi:10.3390/ph3082380
Opinion

Rational Use of Antibiotics in the Treatment of Functional Bowel Disorders

,  and *
Department of Medicine, University of Pavia, Foundation IRCCS S.Matteo Hospital, P.le C. Golgi 2, Pavia, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 May 2010 / Revised: 8 July 2010 / Accepted: 13 July 2010 / Published: 26 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotics)
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Abstract

Functional gastrointestinal symptoms such us bloating, fullness, flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were recently attributed to small bowel bacterial overgrowth, a condition depending on the presence of an increased number of bacteria in the small bowel. However, the methodology used to describe this association may be harshly criticized, since it has already been shown to be quite inaccurate. As a result an inappropriate use of antibiotics was consequently generated. In fact, antibiotics could be effective in the treatment of functional complaints, but only in a limited subgroup of patients, characterized by an increase of fermentation at colonic level. In this review, we have examined the papers suggesting a pathophysiological link between IBS and small bowel bacterial overgrowth, underlining its inappropriateness, and put forth our personal view on the rationale for antibiotic use in IBS.
Keywords: small intestine bacterial overgrowth; functional bowel disorders; irritable bowel syndrome; rifaximin; gas-related symptoms small intestine bacterial overgrowth; functional bowel disorders; irritable bowel syndrome; rifaximin; gas-related symptoms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stefano, M.D.; Fasulo, R.; Corazza, G.R. Rational Use of Antibiotics in the Treatment of Functional Bowel Disorders. Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3, 2380-2386.

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