Researchers from the Gastroenterology Section of the Leeds Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Leeds, the Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) at Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research (LICTR), the Academic Unit of Health Economics and the Department of Primary Care at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, and the Universities of Southampton and Bristol, have received £1.8 million of funding from the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme to conduct a definitive clinical trial of amitriptyline as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care.


Led by Professor Alexander Ford, the research team comprises of Professor Amanda Farrin, Professor Else Guthrie, Professor Robbie Foy, Dr. Sarah Alderson, Dr. Sandy Tubeuf, Ms. Suzanne Hartley, and Ms. Delia Muir from the University of Leeds, Dr. Hazel Everitt from the University of Southampton, and Dr. Matthew Ridd from the University of Bristol.


The study, known as ATLANTIS (Amitriptyline at low-dose and titrated for irritable bowel syndrome as second-line treatment), will involve 518 people with irritable bowel syndrome in primary care. Participants will be recruited across three hubs within Yorkshire and the South and South West of England over 18 months in total.  


Alexander Ford, Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Leeds and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Tricyclic antidepressants have been used, at low dose, for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in secondary and tertiary care for many years, but their efficacy in primary care is unknown. Ours will be the first study to examine their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in this setting. The work is therefore of considerable importance for people living with irritable bowel syndrome, their families, the NHS, and society as a whole. ”

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