Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Clinical Trials (Click to Open)

Join Clinical Trials for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

General Purpose:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the bowel (i.e., large intestine) that is characterized by severe abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and numerous other symptoms that vary between individuals, including abdominal fullness, gas, and bloating, as well as changes in appetite.

Symptoms are usually relieved or improved following a bowel movement. Constipation and diarrhea are also frequently experienced by individuals by IBS. For many people, symptoms wax and wane, while for others they remain constant.

The majority of cases of IBS have no known cause, although IBS has been known to occur following intestinal infection. In addition, some research suggests that malfunctioning nerves that control the movement of material through the intestines may also be involved.

IBS can also occur following a stressful life event, and may also result from the body’s inability to perceive pain correctly. Certain dietary factors may also trigger IBS, including celiac disease (gluten sensitivity), wheat-containing foods, dairy, and/or yeast.

IBS is very common and affects roughly one out of six people in the United States. It typically starts in the teens and early adult years, and affects women twice as often as men. Treatments for IBS are focused on relieving symptoms and generally incorporate a combination of lifestyle and behavioral changes and medication.

What Will Irritable Bowel Syndrome Clinical Trials Be Like?

The types of tests and assessments used in IBS clinical trials will ultimately depend on the specific nature of the study. Provided below is a list of frequent procedures and tests that may be used incorporated into clinical trials:

  • Physical exam and detailed medical history
  • Blood tests may be performed to detect exceptionally high levels of certain antibodies (immune system cells that work to eliminate foreign substances).
  • Biopsy of intestinal tissue
  • Endoscopy:  a procedure during which a thin, flexible tube with a tiny light and camera attached to the end is fed down the mouth or nose, through the esophagus, and into the small intestine.
  • Some studies may require that patients swallow a small camera-containing pill that takes thousands of pictures while inside the body, and transmits them to a receiver worn on the patient’s belt. The pill is then excreted from the body in the stool. 
  • Upper GI series: a series of x-rays performed after an individual has fasted for a period of time and then consumed a chalky-tasting liquid that makes the stomach and intestines more visible on x-ray.
  • Lifestyle interventions, such as increased sleep, increased exercise, elimination of stimulants such as caffeine, decreasing meal portion sizes, and increasing dietary fiber intake.
  • Blood tests to evaluate the effectiveness or chemical properties of a medication, if you are participating in a clinical trial that is investigating the use of a new drug.
  • Pain and quality of life assessments, as well as diet, exercise and/or medication diaries, may also be required in some studies, depending on the research question being studied.

Typical Irritable Bowel Syndrome Clinical Trial Protocol:

Specific examples of clinical trials for IBS might include the following:

  • A randomized clinical trial in which an investigational drug is evaluated to determine its effectiveness, safety, and tolerability when used to treat IBS patients whose disease is characterized predominantly by the occurrence of diarrhea (known as diarrhea-predominant IBS). In this study, half of the patients would be randomly assigned to receive the investigational medication, while the other half would be assigned to receive a placebo.
  • A study to determine the effectiveness of a newly-developed antidepressant medication for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in individuals who also have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
  • A clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of adding peppermint oil extract supplements to conventional pharmaceutical treatment for IBS. In such a study, half of the patients would be randomly assigned to receive standard pharmaceutical treatment plus the peppermint oil supplements, while the other half would be assigned to receive standard treatment plus a placebo.
  • A study to investigate whether a high-fiber, low-gluten diet is effective at improving the frequency and severity of IBS-related symptoms among females between the ages of 18 and 30.

A brief word about randomized trials and placebos:

Many clinical trials involve the comparison of an investigational treatment to a “standard” treatment. Some studies determine which therapy a patient receives through a process known as randomization, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive either the investigational treatment or the standard treatment.

On occasion, a trial will investigate the use of a standard treatment plus a new drug or intervention, compared to standard treatment plus a placebo (such as the third clinical trial example provided above). Placebos are inactive or “sham” treatments that are identical in appearance to the active treatment but have no therapeutic value.

Placebos are necessary to help determine if adverse effects that occur during the clinical trial are the result of the investigational treatment or due to some other factor. They also allow researchers to measure the effects of the active treatment and observe what would have happened without it. 

In rare instances where no standard therapy exists, or when a new drug or therapy is being investigated, the investigational treatment might be compared to a placebo alone (such as the first clinical trial example provided above). In these types of trials, those patients who are randomized to the placebo group do not receive an active treatment.

It is important to know that placebo-only trials are only conducted when scientifically necessary and when patients have been adequately informed that they may end up receiving the placebo rather than the active treatment. It is very important to note, however, that no one should ever participate in such a placebo trial when there is a widely available and highly effective standard treatment already in existence for their particular disease or condition.

Trial Eligibility and Medical Information Needed:

The type of clinical trial you may be eligible for often depends on many factors. Therefore, it is important to know many details pertaining to your specific diagnosis when searching for clinical trials. Examples of the details you may want to have on hand include:

  • Your predominant symptoms associated with IBS
  • The length of time you have had IBS
  • Your current medications (including aspirin), vitamins, and dietary supplements
  • Your current dietary habits (gluten-free, reduced gluten diet, etc.)

Suggested Search Terms:

Once you are ready to begin your search for IBS-related clinical trials, the following terms may be of use when combined with the phrase “irritable bowel syndrome”: “prevention,” “management,” “treatment,” “genetics,” “diet,” “pediatric,” “diagnosis,” “nutrition,” “vitamin,” “screening,” “surgery,” “infection,” and “alternative therapies.” 

Current Search Term:

“Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)”

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Lacto-fermented Sauerkraut in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Other: Raw sauerkraut;   Other: Pasteurized sauerkraut
Sponsor:   University of Copenhagen
Active, not recruiting - verified February 2017


Traditional Chinese Medicine for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Intervention:   Diagnostic Test: TCM
Sponsors:   Singapore General Hospital;   Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine;   Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Recruiting - verified April 2017


Probiotics in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Other: Raw, lacto-fermented sauerkraut;   Dietary Supplement: Mutaflor;   Other: Pasteurized sauerkraut;   Other: Placebo capsule
Sponsor:   University of Copenhagen
Recruiting - verified October 2016


Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Procedure: osteopathic session;   Procedure: Placebo manipulative session
Sponsor:   Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Not yet recruiting - verified December 2016


Effect of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Dietary Supplement: FMT capsules;   Dietary Supplement: FMT placebo
Sponsors:   Aleris-Hamlet Hospitaler København;   Hvidovre University Hospital;   University of Aarhus
Recruiting - verified December 2016


Mindfulness for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Behavioral: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT);   Behavioral: Waiting Period
Sponsor:   University of Oxford
Active, not recruiting - verified June 2016


Yoga for Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Behavioral: Yoga;   Behavioral: Nutrition Counselling
Sponsor:   Universität Duisburg-Essen
Completed - verified May 2017


Confocal Endomicroscopy Utility (p-CLE) in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Intervention:   Device: Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy
Sponsor:   Instituto Ecuatoriano de Enfermedades Digestivas
Recruiting - verified November 2016


Trans-cutaneous Vagal Nerve Electrical Stimulation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Intervention:   Device: Trans-cutaneous vagal nerve electrical stimulation
Sponsor:   Hospices Civils de Lyon
Recruiting - verified August 2016


Moxibustion for Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Device: moxibustion;   Device: Placebo moxibustion
Sponsor:   Shanghai Institute of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Meridian
Recruiting - verified August 2016


Caecal pH as a Biomarker for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Linaclotide;   Dietary Supplement: FODMAP diet
Sponsor:   Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology
Enrolling by invitation - verified November 2016


Pinaverium and Herbs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment: an Onset and Offset Study (PHIBEST)


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Pinaverium;   Device: Atractylodes;   Device: Paeonia Lactiflora;   Device: Tangerine Peel;   Drug: Ledebouriella Root;   Drug: Radix codonopsitis;   Drug: Radix curcumae;   Drug: Fingered citron;   Drug: Tuckahoe;   Drug: Placebo
Sponsor:   Macrohard Institute of Health
Active, not recruiting - verified November 2016


Developing Novel Microbiota-Targeted Therapies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Intervention:  
Sponsors:   Mayo Clinic;   University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Recruiting - verified October 2016


Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Intervention:   Other: Fecal transplantation
Sponsor:   Örebro University, Sweden
Active, not recruiting - verified April 2017


Symptom Management for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Other: Standard protocol;   Other: Individualized protocol;   Other: Sham acupuncture/Placebo moxa
Sponsors:   New York University School of Medicine;   National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Recruiting - verified December 2016


Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Low FODMAP Diet


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Intervention:   Other: Low FODMAPS diet
Sponsor:   University Hospital, Rouen
Recruiting - verified December 2016


Milnacipran (Savella) in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Milnacipran;   Drug: Milnacipran;   Drug: Milnacipran;   Drug: Placebo
Sponsors:   Spencer Dorn, MD, MPH;   Forest Laboratories
Terminated - verified March 2017


The Effect of Long-Acting Mesalamine on Post-Infective Irritable Bowel Syndrome- A Pilot Study


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Mesalamine;   Drug: Placebo
Sponsors:   University of Utah;   Shire Human Genetic Therapies, Inc.
Recruiting - verified March 2017


Use of Expressive Writing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Behavioral: Expressive Writing;   Behavioral: Control Writing
Sponsors:   Boston University;   Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
Completed - verified March 2017


The Effect of Coltect (Selenium, Curcumin and Green Tea) on Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Dietary Supplement: coltect;   Dietary Supplement: Placebo
Sponsor:   NAFTALI TIMNA
Recruiting - verified June 2016


Iyengar Yoga for Young People With Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Intervention:   Behavioral: Iyengar yoga
Sponsor:   University of California, Los Angeles
Completed - verified November 2016


A Placebo-Controlled Trial of Pregabalin (Lyrica) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Pregabalin;   Drug: Placebo
Sponsors:   Mayo Clinic;   Pfizer
Completed - verified September 2016


The Efficacy of Tradition Chinese Medicine in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Traditional Chinese Medicine;   Drug: Traditional Chinese Medicine Placebo
Sponsors:   Chinese University of Hong Kong;   University of Maryland;   National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Completed - verified April 2017


Citalopram in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Drug: Citalopram;   Drug: Placebo
Sponsor:   Stanford University
Completed - verified March 2017


A Six-month Study to Compare Outcome Differences and Visceral Response ... Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Condition:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Interventions:   Behavioral: IBS Stress Management;   Behavioral: IBS Symptom Management;   Behavioral: IBS Educational Training
Sponsors:   University of California, Los Angeles;   National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Completed - verified November 2016

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