Objective: The efficacy and tolerability of alosetron in women with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have been established in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. However, the degree to which alosetron fulfills the needs of those suffering from IBS has not been thoroughly examined from the patient's perspective. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in women with diarrhea-predominant IBS evaluated patients' overall satisfaction with treatment as well as their satisfaction with respect to several specific medication attributes.
Methods: Patients randomized to receive either alosetron 1 mg b.id. (n = 532) or placebo (n = 269) were administered a questionnaire on which they rated on 7-point Likert scales their prestudy IBS treatment (at the screening visit) or study medication (on wk 12 or final study visit) with respect to overall satisfaction and 11 specific medication attributes.
Results: Whereas approximately 10% of patients were satisfied or very satisfied overall with prestudy IBS medication, 69% of patients were satisfied or very satisfied overall with alosetron and 46% with placebo (p < 0.001) at the end of 12 wk of therapy. The majority of alosetron-treated patients (61-87%) were satisfied or very satisfied with each of 11 specific medication attributes (p < 0.001 vs placebo for each attribute). Favorable satisfaction ratings for alosetron were assigned to the five medication attributes that patients considered to be most important, including relief of urgency (68% alosetron vs 41% placebo), speed of relief (71% vs 40%), time to return to normal activities (75% vs 49%), relief of abdominal pain (62% vs 44%), and prevention of return of urgency (68% vs 42%).
Conclusions: Women with diarrhea-predominant IBS are satisfied with alosetron 1 mg b.i.d. treatment overall and also with respect to specific attributes of IBS medication they consider most important.