Also known as: IB-STIM device, stimulation device

What is IB-STIM?

IB-STIM is a small, electrical nerve-stimulating device that children wear behind their ear to help reduce abdominal pain related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It was recently approved by the FDA and is a non-drug alternative to relieving this type of pain for patients ages 11 to 18.

How does it work?

The IB-STIM device fights chronic abdominal pain by emitting painless, low-frequency electrical pulses that stimulate the nerve branches of the cranium. The device is worn behind the ear for 5 consecutive days before it is replaced, and it can be used for up to 3 weeks in a row before the patient takes a break. The treatment is typically recommended for treating chronic abdominal pain. In studies, children using the IB-STIM showed few side effects and significant improvement in their pain from using the IB-STIM device.

Who is a candidate for the IB-STIM?

The IB-STIM device may not be the appropriate treatment for all children with IBS or other forms of chronic abdominal pain. A health care provider may conduct certain tests and review the child’s medical history to determine if it’s the right choice for your child.

What are the risk factors?

There’s a minor risk of ear discomfort or adhesive allergy from using the IB-STIM device. IB-STIM is not recommended for patients with pacemakers, hemophilia or the skin condition known as psoriasis vulgaris.

Reviewed by: Heidi E Gamboa, DO

This page was last updated on: January 17, 2020 11:01 AM