A large clinical trial for patients with diarrhoea predominant IBS (IBS-D) has started recruitment in England.

The “RELIEVE-IBS-D” trial is included in the National Institute for Health Research portfolio, and is using some of the latest research technologies to collect data and new information about IBS-D.

The trial is in the midst of recruiting over 400 patients aged 18-75 years old in 27 NHS GP and hospital sites across the country, with the primary objective to show the effectiveness of an oral intestinal adsorbent, Enterosgel in the treatment of IBS-D.

The study treatment is delivered directly to the patient’s home, and the simple electronic diaries take only a couple of minutes each day to complete on a mobile phone.

Prof Yan Yiannakou, chief investigator, commented, “We asked our patients what they wanted from a study and have used their feedback to make the study ‘patient-friendly’. So, the diaries and questionnaires are kept to a minimum and every patient gets to try the treatment in what we call an ‘open label phase’.

“But the study is also scientifically very robust and should show exactly how effective this treatment is. Patient recruitment to the study is going really well, leveraging many new techniques and organisations to maximise recruitment and the study is on track to complete recruitment by the end of 2019”.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition, affecting around 1 in 10 of the adult population.

It can cause unpleasant symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating and bowel symptoms. It is estimated that approximately a third of patients with IBS experience diarrhoea as their predominant bowel habit