Celiac disease treatment options: Larazotide acetate shows promise

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new study has found that larazotide acetate shows promise as a treatment option for celiac disease. The medication was able to reduce symptoms and pain for patients who were on a gluten-free diet. Researchers believe it can help patients who are on the strict diet and still experiencing celiac disease symptoms.


The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that a 0.5-mg dose of larazotide acetate was enough to reduce symptoms in patients. Published in Gastroenterology, the study included 342 adults with celiac disease, confirmed by a biopsy, who were on a gluten-free diet. Researchers tested 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg doses of the medication, and patients were required to take them three times a day while continuing their gluten-free diets. The patients reported a 26 percent reduction in symptoms and a 50 percent reduction in abdominal pain. In addition, they noticed a decrease in headaches and fatigue.


Larazotide acetate reduces the permeability of the gut, and researchers mentioned that the combination of the drug with a gluten-free diet reduces the symptoms of celiac disease better than a gluten-free diet on its own. The pill is not being marketed as a miracle cure or final treatment for celiac disease. Researchers are still advocating the importance of a gluten-free diet, and the medication cannot reverse damage to the intestines. However, it offers another option for patients who continue to suffer from pain and other symptoms associated with celiac disease.

Compared to a placebo, larazotide acetate was able to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with celiac disease. The medication works by reducing leaky gut syndrome and preventing gluten molecules from escaping the intestines, so it reduces inflammation in the gut caused by permeability. It is believed that gluten is capable of relaxing the junctions between cells, so it can escape.

Read more about celiac disease:
Doctors ignore proper celiac disease diagnosis and care
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years