SOURCE: Book Talk

August 21, 2006 15:47 ET

Dr. Mark Pimentel Warns Patients of the Dangers of Taking Anti-Depressants as Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In His New Best-Selling Book, "A New IBS Solution," He Explains to Readers the Dangers and Fallacy of Taking Anti-Depressants for the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 21, 2006 -- According to Gastroenterologist Dr. Mark Pimentel, patients suffering from IBS should exercise extreme caution when considering using anti-depressants as a treatment for IBS.

IBS is the most common chronic medical condition in the country. It is estimated to affect over 60 million people of all ages. For years, stress has been thought to be the primary cause of most cases of IBS. Therefore, many physicians believed that prescribing anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications was the appropriate treatment.

However, Dr. Pimentel states, that while the judicious use of anti-depressants is sometimes warranted under appropriate circumstances, such as severe anxiety and depression, he warns that in many cases such drugs are being unnecessarily prescribed. Dr. Pimentel also believes that since a majority of IBS cases are caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, taking anti-depressants will not address the "root cause" of the condition.

Furthermore, recent studies have clearly demonstrated that anti-depressants have limited effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of IBS. There is also another important reason for concern when taking anti-depressants. These drugs can cause serious side effects and can be addictive. According to Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, side effects of anti-depressants may include dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, and possible neurological damage. For all of these reasons, Dr. Pimentel states, "This is why I am so reluctant to prescribe these medications for my IBS patients."

Dr. Mark Pimentel is available for interviews to share his information about the treatment and causes of IBS.

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