Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


Objective: The objective of this EBM review is to determine whether or not the use of mesalamine decreases abdominal pain in adults with IBS.

Study Design: Review of 3 randomized control trials.

Data Sources: All articles were published in English between 2012 and 2016. Articles were obtained from peer-reviewed journals using PubMed.

Outcomes: The outcome measured was the level or presence of abdominal and was measured via binary scale, 10-point visual analogue scale rated by patients on a 0 to 10 scale with 0 being no pain and 10 being the maximum level of pain and via patient symptom diary questionnaire.

Results: Barbara et al. showed that mesalazine reduced abdominal pain and discomfort superior to placebo in patients with IBS, but this was not statistically significant, with a p-value of 0.404. Tuteja et al. showed that mesalamine was superior to placebo at reducing abdominal pain from baseline in patients with post-infective IBS, but this was not statistically significant, with a p-value of 0.83. Lam et al. showed that mesalazine did not decrease abdominal pain in patients with IBS-D superior to placebo, with a p-value of 0.83.

Conclusions: All three articles used mesalazine to treat abdominal pain and used placebo as the control group. Although two articles showed that mesalamine can decrease abdominal pain at a superior level to placebo, the results we not clinically significant. The third trial showed that mesalamine was not superior to placebo in decreasing abdominal pain. Further studies and perhaps larger studies are needed to determine if mesalamine can have a statistically significant impact on decreasing abdominal pain.