Treatment options for patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Course description
Target Audience:

Pharmacists in community-based practice.

Universal program number: 0401-0000-13-003-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based


To assist the community pharmacist in understanding irritable bowel syndrome and the common nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic treatments.


Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disease in the United States that has been associated with a high number of patient visits to primary care providers, as well as specialists.1,2 It has been shown to have a significant impact on patients' quality of life and often leads to use of numerous nonprescription and prescription medications.3,4 Several new prescription products have become available in the past several years, so it is important for pharmacists to understand the risks and benefits of these new agents. Also, it is important for pharmacists to recognize the signs and symptoms of adverse effects of these new therapies and know how to counsel patients who are on these therapies.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Define irritable bowel syndrome history and clinical presentation.
  2. Compare new treatment options with traditional therapies for IBS.
  3. Outline benefits and risks of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options for patients with IBS.
  4. Formulate a treatment plan for a patient presenting with IBS symptoms.
  5. Outline the resources available to patients with IBS to help improve the care received.
To obtain credit:

A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. Submit your answers to the learning assessment questions online at Your statement of credit will be available through CPE Monitor located at To ensure transmission of credit hours to CPE Monitor, you must enter your correct e-PID number in your CE profile.

All customer service questions should be directed to (800) 933-9666.

If you are a paid enrollee, there is no cost to participate in this lesson. The fee for participants who are not enrolled is $13.95.


Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE Activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through April 4, 2016.

Faculty & disclosure

By Brian E. Roland, PharmD, assistant professor of clinical and administrative sciences at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland School of Pharmacy; and Nathan Culver, PharmD, assistant professor of clinical and administrative sciences at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Brian E. Roland, Nathan Culver and the DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 2.00 Pharmacist
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Please login or register to take this course.