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We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of amitriptyline as a therapeutic option for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) through a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. For the years from 1966 until May 2012, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for double-blind, placebo-controlled trials investigating the efficacy of amitriptyline in the management of IBS. Four randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials met our criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled relative risk for clinical improvement with amitriptyline therapy was 4.18 (95% CI: 2.00 to 8.77, p=0.0001). It was thus concluded that amitriptyline exhibits a clinically and statistically significant control of IBS symptoms.


Guan-qun Chao, Shuo Zhang. A meta-analysis of the therapeutic effects of amitriptyline for treating irritable bowel syndrome. Internal medicine (Tokyo, Japan). 2013;52(4):419-24

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PMID: 23411695

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