, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1347-1355

Effect of Leuprolide Acetate in Treatment of Abdominal Pain and Nausea in Premenopausal Women with Functional Bowel Disease: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study

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Abstract

We have previously reported impressive results in using a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog, leuprolide acetate (Lupron), in the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms (especially abdominal pain and nausea) in patients with functional bowel disease (FBD). Pain is the hallmark of patients with FBD, and there is no consistent therapy for the treatment of these patients. The purpose of the present study was to expand the investigation to study similar patients (menstruating females) in a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study using Lupron Depot (which delivers a continuous dose of drug for one month), 3.75 mg (N = 32) or 7.5 mg (N = 33), or placebo (N = 35) given intramuscularly every four weeks for 16 weeks. Symptoms were assessed using daily diary cards to record abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, early satiety, anorexia, bloating, and altered bowel habits. Additional assessment tools were quality of life questionnaires, psychological profile, oralto-cecal transit using the hydrogen breath test, antroduodenal manometry, reproductive hormone levels, and global evaluations by both patient and investigator. Patients in both Lupron Depot-treated groups showed consistent improvement in symptoms; however, only the Lupron Depot 7.5 mg group showed a significant improvement for abdominal pain and nausea compared to placebo (P < 0.001). Patient quality of life assessments and global evaluations completed by both patient and investigators were highly significant compared to placebo (P < 0.001). All reproductive hormone levels significantly decreased for both Lupron Depot-treated groups by week 4 and were significantly different compared to placebo at week 16 (P < 0.001). This study shows that leuprolide acetate is effective in controlling the debilitating symptoms of abdominal pain and nausea in patients with FBD.