Hi all, I've been a lurker on various gut related forums for a couple of years now, but now I feel I have something useful to share, I wanted to make a first post.
Since a bad bout of food poisoning in 2006, I've suffered from what has been variably described as "IBS", "Bowel function disorder", "Visceral hypersensitivity/hyperalgesia" and lots of other ways of saying "your gut doesn't work right, it over-works and over-reacts and causes you a lot of pain but we don't really know why".
I've tried the following medications, with varying success:
- Loperamide - only really a stop-gap solution, but temporarily relieves D symptoms when they occur
- Spasmanol - great for pain but gave me intolerable indigestion and heartburn
- Buscopan - no effects on me
- Simeticone - works well for trapped wind pain
- Pro-biotics - made me worse
- Peppermint oil/capsules - gave me 'wonderful' peppermint diarreah lol
- Codeine - great for pain and has a constipating effect but obviously can be addictive and diminish in effectiveness once you become used to it
- Amitryptaline 75mg - works fantastic for pain but doesn't affect urgency
However, I recently met with a new gastro consultant who told me about studies into the effects of serotonin in the gut - that it is thought now that an infection in the gut can trigger over-production of serotonin which causes hyper activity in the gut, and the potential of a gut-specific serotonin inhibitor called Ondansetron in treating such conditions (see gut.bmj.com/content/early/2...
Although the drug is officially licenced as an anti-sickness drug, he has prescribed it off-licence for me to try as a means of treating my stomach problems.
I have been taking 8mg 2 times daily for almost two months now (still alongside Amitryptaline). And, after nearly a decade of absolute horror due to my gut, the impact that this new medication has had has been incredible. Aside from a minor side effect of occasional indigestion, and having to find the right balance of dose (supposed to be 3 times daily but found this caused constipation) I am almost symptom free.
I wanted to tell people about this, as I was looking for help for years and years and know I would have wanted to know about this had someone else found out about it as a treatment. It is not a drug currently licenced for gut problems, so unless your doctor has read these studies (and unless they are a gastro specialist and keep up to date with research they likely wouldn't have) then they won't be aware of its potential use.