After decades without any specific drugs for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the first few years of the millennium brought hope in the form of two approvals. But this new era turned out to be a false dawn. In February 2000, alosetron became the first drug to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in women who had IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D). But within a few months there were reports of serious complications among people who were taking the drug and several deaths. Alosetron was withdrawn that November.