Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, symptom-based disorder of chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. The pathogenesis of IBS is multifactorial, leading to the potential for the development of multiple, diverse treatment strategies. This mechanistic heterogeneity also leads to the realization that available therapies are only effective in a subset of IBS suffers. Current US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved therapies for IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) and IBS with constipation (IBS-C) are reviewed. Limited symptom responses and side effect experiences lead to considerable patient dissatisfaction with currently available IBS treatments. Only a small percentage of IBS patients are on prescription therapies underscoring the potential market and need for additional therapeutic options.