Enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A prospective, randomized trial

Abstract

To determine the efficacy and tolerability of an enteric-coated peppermint-oil formulation (Colpermin), we conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in 110 outpatients (66 men/44 women; 18–70 years of age) with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Patients took one capsule (Colpermin or placebo) three to four times daily, 15–30 min before meals, for 1 month. Fifty-two patients on Colpermin and 49 on placebo completed the study. Forty-one patients on Colpermin (79%) experienced an alleviation of the severity of abdominal pain (29 were pain-free); 43 (83%) had less abdominal distension, 43 (83%) had reduced stool frequency, 38 (73%) had fewer borborygmi, and 41 (79%) less flatulence. Corresponding figures for the placebo group were: 21 patients (43%) with reduced pain (4 were pain-free) 14 (29%) with reduced distension, 16 (32%) with reduced stool frequency, 15 (31%) with fewer borborygmi, and 11 (22%) with less flatulence. Symptom improvements after Colpermin were significantly better than after placebo (P<0.05; Mann-Whitney U-test). One patient on Colpermin experienced heartburn (because of chewing the capsules) and one developed a mild transient skin rash. There were no significant changes in liver function test results. Thus, in this trial, Colpermin was effective and well tolerated.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Talley NJ, Zinsmeister AR, Van Dyke C, et al. Epidemiology of colonic symptoms and the irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology 1991;101:927–934.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Schlemper RJ, Van DJ, Vandenbroucke JP, et al. Peptic ulcer, non-ulcer dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome in the Netherlands and Japan. Scand J Gastroenterol 1993;28(Suppl 200):33–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Drossmann DA. Irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterologist 1994;2:315–326.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Lind CD. Motility disorders in the irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1991;20:279–295.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Fukuda S, Muranaka M, Nomura T, Satake M. Brain-gut interactions in irritable bowel syndrome: Physiological and psychological aspects. Nippon Rinsho Jpn J Clin Med 1992;50:2703–2711.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Collins SM. Is the irritable gut an inflamed gut? Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl 1992;192:102–105.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Hills JM, Aaronson PI. The mechanism of action of peppermint oil on gastrointestinal smooth muscle. Gastroenterology 1991; 101:55–65.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Rees WDW, Evans BK, Rhodes J. Treating irritable bowel syndrome with peppermint oil. BMJ 1979;2:835–837.

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Dew MJ, Evans BK, Rhodes J. Peppermint oil for the irritable bowel syndrome: A multicentre trial. Br J Clin Pract 1984;38:394–398.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Schneider MME, Otten MH. Efficacy of Colpermin in the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (abstract). Gastroenterology 1990;98(5):A389.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Somerville KW, Richmond CR, Bell GD. Delayed-release peppermint oil capsules (Colpermin) for the spastic colon syndrome: A pharmacokinetic study. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1984;18:638–640.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gran-Hum Chen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Liu, JH., Chen, GH., Yeh, HZ. et al. Enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A prospective, randomized trial. J Gastroenterol 32, 765 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02936952

Download citation

Key words

  • Colpermin
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • peppermint oil