Medication Options for Short Bowel Syndrome

In the recent years pharmacological hormonal therapy has been introduced aiming to stimulate intestinal adaptation after intestinal resections. There are studies involving growth hormone, glutamine, and glucagon-like peptide 2 growth hormone (GLP-2).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both growth hormone and glutamine as drugs to be used in the management of SBS. Most recently in 2012, teduglutide, a recombinant analog of human glucagon-like peptide 2, was FDA approved for the treatment of adults with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support. It works by regeneration of cells in the intestinal lining, improving intestinal absorption of fluids and nutrients, and helping reduce the frequency and volume of parenteral nutrition.

Adapted from IFFGD Publication #258 by: Evelin Eichler, MS, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian, University Medical Center, Gastrointestinal Motility Nutrition Specialist, Texas Tech University, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX; Richard McCallum MD, FACP, FRACP (AUST), FACG, Professor of Medicine and Founding Chair and Chief of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX; Susan S. Schneck, MA, International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Milwaukee, WI; and William F. Norton, Communications Director, International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, Milwaukee, WI.

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

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