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Clinical Crossroads Update
January 2, 2008

Update: A 54-Year-Old Woman With Constipation-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome

JAMA. 2008;299(1):88. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.63

In a Clinical Crossroads article published in February 2006,1 Anthony Lembo, MD, discussed the symptoms, diagnostic considerations, and treatment options relating to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Mrs G had a long history of abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort associated with constipation, which worsened in the years preceding her diagnosis. A small woman, Mrs G was trying to gain weight as a measure to combat her recently diagnosed osteopenia and was particularly concerned that her symptoms prevented her from gaining weight. After watching a television advertisement for a new prescription medication, Mrs G finally discussed her symptoms with her physician, who diagnosed constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C) . Mrs G began a trial of tegaserod, which helped her symptoms significantly, although she was reluctant to take medication regularly. Mrs G wondered about the efficacy of tegaserod as a long-term solution to her condition. She also wondered whether there would be long-term adverse effects associated with taking tegaserod.