New drug-free vibrating pill may help relieve chronic

New drug-free vibrating pill may help relieve chronic constipation

A new electronic pill claims to make a difference in relieving chronic constipation.

Starting this week, doctors can prescribe Vibrant, an unprecedented alternative to traditional laxatives. The patient swallows a capsule, which enters the colon, where it vibrates to stimulate natural bowel movements.

A capsule the size of a typical vitamin pill has been approved in the United StatesThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vibrant in August 2022 for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (constipation with no known cause) in people who have not found relief from other laxatives for at least a month.

According to the UCLA Center for Stress and Resilience Neurology, symptoms of chronic constipation include fewer than three bowel movements per week, straining, hard stools, incomplete bowel movements, and an inability to defecate. Up to 63 million people in North America meet diagnostic criteria for chronic constipation.

“Vibrant should be considered as another tool available to help patients, but it is not a cure for constipation,” says Dr. Linda Nguyen, a gastroenterologist at Stanford Health Care in Redwood City, California, who is not affiliated with the company that creates vibrancy.”Diet, lifestyle and other factors that can influence constipation should always be part of every patient’s treatment plan.”

How does the vibratory pill work?
Vibrant contains a tiny microchip programmed to start vibrating when the pill reaches the colon, around 14 hours after ingestion. The capsule causes small vibrations in the colon for two periods of two hours each, six hours apart.

“The vibration lasts for a few seconds, then goes off and on again,” says Dr. Satish Rao, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center in Digestive Health at Augusta University Medical College of Georgia.“These vibrations trigger local muscle contractions, causing the stool to move.”

Once the pill has passed through the colon, it leaves the body with the stool.

dr Rao led the research that led to FDA approval. For eight weeks, he and his colleagues followed 312 chronic constipation patients at more than 90 clinical centers across the United States, who received either a Vibrant pill or a placebo (a dummy pill) five times a week each day.

The researchers found that about 39 percent of patients treated with Vibrant had one or more extra spontaneous bowel movements per week since starting treatment; 22 percent in the placebo group had a similar increase. The study found that nearly 23 percent of patients who received Vibrant had two or more extra bowel movements per week, compared with about 11 percent in the placebo group.

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