Munson Health
 
Medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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by Polsdorfer R
 
The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medicines listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medicines as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
Since there is no known cause of IBS, medicines are used to treat specific symptoms. There are several types of medicines that are thought by some doctors to be helpful. But, not all of the medicines listed below are of proven value in treating symptoms of IBS. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you take a combination of medicines.

Prescription Medications

  • Hyoscyamine (such as Anaspaz, HyoMax)
  • Cimetropium
  • Dicyclomine (Bentyl)
  • Loperamide (such as Imodium A-D)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Domperidone (Motilium)
  • Cisapride (Propulsid)
  • Metoclopramide (Reglan)
  • Alosetron (Lotronex)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Rifaximin
  • Lubiprostone

Prescription Medications

  Antidepressants
Common names include:
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
Depression is a common symptom in people with IBS. Some of these drugs may have antispasmodic effects.
Possible side effects include:
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disruption
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Impaired sexual function
 

References


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FDA's MedWatch safety alerts: March 2009. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm142815.htm. Published March 23, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2009.


International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inc. website. Available at: http://www.iffgd.org. Accessed March 3, 2006.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self-help and Support Group website. Available at: http://www.ibsgroup.org. Accessed March 3, 2006.


Lexi-PALS. Alosetron. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated June 28, 2010. Accessed September 12, 2011.


Lexi-PALS. Cisapride. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated May 25, 2010. Accessed September 12, 2011.


Lexi-PALS. Domperidone. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated October 10, 2010. Accessed September 12, 2011.


Lexi-PALS. Lubiprostone. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated June 28, 2010. Accessed September 12, 2011.


Moeser A, Nighot PK, et al. Recovery of mucosal barrier function in ischemic porcine ileum and colon is stimulated by a novel agonist of the ClC-2 chloride channel, lubiprostone. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2007;292(2):G647-656.


Pimentel M, Park S, et al. The effect of a nonabsorbed oral antibiotic (rifaximin) on the symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2006;145(8):557-563.


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