New MRI study to get clearer picture of treatment for common bowel problem

Experts from the University of Nottingham are looking for volunteers to take part in an MRI study into a common treatment for constipation.

Researchers from the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) and Gastroenterology in the School of Medicine are investigating how a popular treatment for constipation works in the body. Their findings will improve understanding of how Bisacodyl works, which will help with further developments in the treatment of long-term constipation.

Bisacodyl (often known as Dulcolax) is a common laxative used to treat short-term constipation. For the study volunteers will be asked to take either 5mg of Bisacodyl or a placebo (dummy pill) and will then have MRI scans to get detailed images of the bowels to show the effect the medication has.

Volunteers are needed who have some constipation, but do not use laxatives more than four times a month. Study participants will be asked to come to the SPMIC for a total of seven visits, including 18 MRI scans, which are entirely safe. They will take 5 mg bisacodyl or a placebo and will be scanned repeatedly during the study day before and after a standardised meal. The study will then compare images of the participant’s bowels after each treatment.

Constipation is a common problem that affects around one in seven otherwise healthy people and the two groups of people most likely to get constipation are young women and the elderly – especially those who need to take regular medicines. There are many reasons for it occurring including: as a side effect to other medicines, emotional upset and diet.

Constipation is extremely common yet many patients are dissatisfied with treatment. Laxatives are used by many as a short-term solution but their effectiveness varies. We hope that that by getting a clearer picture of how they work inside the body we can help with further developments of more effective long-term treatments.

If you are interested in finding out more or want to take part go to:

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