Viberzi: Newly Approved for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Viberzi (eluxadoline) was approved by the FDA on May 27, 2015 as a new option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in adults.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a disorder that affects the large intestine. IBS can be diarrhea- or constipation-predominant, meaning you mostly experience either one or the other. Symptoms can include stomach pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

It’s not known exactly what causes IBS, but factors like young age, female gender, genetics, or mental health problems may put a person at greater risk.

When will Viberzi be available?

According to the manufacturer, Actavis, the Viberzi launch is anticipated for the first quarter of 2016.

How is Viberzi taken?
Viberzi will be available as a tablet in 75 mg and 100 mg strengths. The recommended dosage of Viberzi in adults is 100 mg twice daily taken with food.

How does Viberzi work?
Viberzi works by activating receptors in the nervous system to lessen the amount of bowel contractions a patient with IBS-D may experience.

What is unique about Viberzi?
Viberzi is the first medication of its kind in a new class of drugs called mu-opioid receptor agonists, used for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D).

Will this medication be a controlled substance?

Since Viberzi affects the opioid receptors of the brain, the FDA has recommended that it be classified as a controlled substance. However, the scheduling designation for Viberzi is under review at the moment, and it will be determined before the release in 2016.

What are the side effects associated with Viberzi?

The most common side effects include stomach pain, constipation, and nausea.

Want more information?

See the press announcement from the FDA regarding Viberzi here.

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