“In addition to serious medical complications, patients with short bowel syndrome can have socially-restricted lives. Long infusion periods often disrupt sleep for patients. This is coupled with constant concern about using restrooms as many patients will need to use the bathroom up to 25 times a day or having an accident with unpredictable diarrhea. Other patients that have an ostomy bag have a fear of an ostomy bag leakage. These factors leave many patients unable to socialize or work,” said Ken Fujioka, MD, Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center, Scripps Clinic, Del Mar. “Considering Gattex has been shown to significantly reduce or in some cases even eliminate the requirement for parenteral support, it may become a cornerstone therapy in the management of short bowel syndrome.”
SBS typically occurs when a large portion of the intestine has been removed by surgery caused by disease or injury. In rare cases, it is congenital. Common symptoms of SBS can include diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss, which are closely related to the functional issues of the bowel. During a typical day, SBS patients will move their bowels up to 10 times, or change their ostomy bag, which collects their urine output, three to four times. In extreme cases, patients may move their bowels as many as 25 times each day.
“Patients with short bowel syndrome/intestinal failure need a comprehensive program to receive optimal care so that their quality of life is maintained to its fullest extent. The Oley Foundation encourages research and new development of drugs, products and services that improve health and well-being,” said Joan Bishop, executive director, The Oley Foundation. “We are pleased that NPS Pharmaceuticals has engaged in this research and has set upon a path that serves to bring hope that it will reduce the challenges of short bowel syndrome/intestinal failure and improve the quality of life of many of our members and their families.”