A Common Antidepressant May Also Help Relieve IBS Symptoms

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
3 Min Read


Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be a constant struggle. The unpredictable nature of the condition can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. However, recent research suggests that there may be a potential solution to alleviate IBS symptoms – an unexpected one at that.

A study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology has found that a common antidepressant, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may have a positive impact on IBS symptoms. This surprising link between mental health medication and gastrointestinal issues opens up new possibilities for managing this chronic condition.

The researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial involving a group of IBS patients. They divided the participants into two groups – one receiving a placebo and the other receiving an SSRI medication. Over the course of several weeks, the participants recorded their symptoms and overall well-being.

The Results

The findings of the study were remarkable. The group that received the SSRI medication reported a significant reduction in IBS symptoms compared to the placebo group. The participants experienced a decrease in abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel irregularities, leading to an improved quality of life.

It is important to note that the study did not find a cure for IBS. However, it does offer a potential treatment option for individuals struggling with the condition. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects and optimal dosage of SSRIs for IBS management.

Understanding the Connection

So, how exactly does an antidepressant help alleviate IBS symptoms? The answer lies in the intricate relationship between the brain and the gut. Studies have shown that individuals with IBS often experience heightened sensitivity in the gut, leading to increased pain and discomfort.

SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and emotions, in the brain. Serotonin also plays a crucial role in the gut, influencing bowel movements and pain perception. By targeting serotonin levels, SSRIs may help regulate gut function and reduce the severity of IBS symptoms.

Consulting Your Doctor

If you are currently living with IBS and considering trying an SSRI medication, it is essential to consult your doctor. They can evaluate your specific situation and determine if this treatment option is suitable for you. Your doctor will consider factors such as your medical history, current medications, and potential side effects before making a recommendation.


The link between a common antidepressant and IBS symptom relief is an exciting discovery. While more research is needed to fully understand the connection, this study offers hope for individuals living with this chronic condition. If you are struggling with IBS, speak to your doctor about the potential benefits of incorporating an SSRI medication into your treatment plan.

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