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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mebeverine decreases mass movements and stool frequency in lactulose-induced diarrhoea.

BACKGROUND: In spite of its frequent use in the treatment of irritable bowel disease little is known about mebeverine's mode of action in man. AIM: To examine mebeverine's effect on transit though the gut during lactulose-induced diarrhoea. METHODS: Nine healthy volunteers undertook a two-way randomized crossover study. Diarrhoea was induced using lactulose pre-treatment (20 m t.d.s., 4 days) and subjects received either mebeverine (135 mg t.d.s.) or no treatment. Transit of two enteric-coated capsules containing radiolabelled 8.4 mm tablets and 180-250 microM ion exchange resin were followed using gamma scintigraphy. Stool frequency and symptoms were assessed by diary cards. RESULTS: Mebeverine reduced mean daily stool frequency associated with lactulose ingestion from a median of 2.25 (interquartile range (IQR) 1.75-2.75) to 1.5 (IQR 1.25-2.25) movements. Mebeverine significantly reduced the number of mass movements observed in the colon during the 11 h of the study from 2 (2-2) to 1 (1-2), and the number of retrograde movements from 1 (0-2) to 0 (0-0) (P < 0.05). Mebeverine did not significantly alter the gastric emptying rate of the intact capsule (2.9 (1.9-3.2) to 2.8 (2.6-4.0) h) however it induced a small but significant acceleration in small intestinal transit of the capsule (1.6 (0.8-2.0) h to 1.0 (0.52-1.32) h, P=0.02). CONCLUSION: Mebeverine reduces the diarrhoeal effect of lactulose by decreasing the mass movements induced in the ascending colon. This effect may contribute to its clinical effect in irritable bowel syndrome.[1]


  1. Mebeverine decreases mass movements and stool frequency in lactulose-induced diarrhoea. Washington, N., Ridley, P., Thomas, C., Spiller, R.C., Watts, P.J., Wilson, C.G. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. (1998) [Pubmed]
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