A Practical Look at IBS Medication
This IBS medication article is a discussion about the medications that have been used by its author, either as prescribed/suggested by a GP, or recommended in various articles on IBS read over the years.
We cannot and do not recommend self-medicating for IBS, or encourage the taking of any of the following treatments. This article and this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
Some of the preparations or medications can be purchased off the shelf, others must be asked for at a pharmacy. Please remember to read the information on any medication you use, and to advise either your GP or the pharmacist if you are taking any other medications.
Some IBS medication is unsuitable for asthmatics and people prone to allergic reactions. If you are unsure of possible side-effects and cannot immediately see your GP, any qualified pharmacist at a chemist/drugstore should be happy to answer your questions.
Antispasmodic medication is commonly prescribed by GP's as an IBS medication. Mebeverine Hydrochloride, also marketed as Colofac (TM / trademark Solevay Pharmaceuticals) would seem to be the most prescribed medicine for IBS.
The intestine squeezes rhythmically to allow food to pass down it for the process of digestion
In the case of IBS, the intestine goes into a spasm and squeezes too tightly, which causes the pain associated with the condition.
Antispasmodic medications ease the spasm and pain. They are also prescribed for chronic irritable colon, spastic constipation, mucous colitis and spastic colitis.
If an IBS sufferer is prescribed Colofac, they should take it as directed, regularly, and not stop the medication (even if they feel better) unless a doctor is consulted.
If diarrhea or sudden and loose bowel movements is a
symptom of IBS
, anti-diarrhea medications will help.
Sometimes, if the pain associated with IBS is severe, a doctor may prescribe a Codeine-based painkiller, since this also reduces diarrhea. (It should be noted that it can also cause constipation.) This should be taken as directed by a GP, as part of the regimen for tackling IBS.
Paracetamol and Codeine tablets are available from pharmacists, but should not be seen as a long-term IBS medication unless advised by a GP.
Medicines such as Imodium, available in chemists and supermarkets should not be used continuously to self-treat IBS, although they can provide short term relief.
Pepto Bismol, which can be purchased from a pharmacy, is also effective in tackling nausea, diarrhea and bloating, all symptoms of IBS, although people who suffer asthma or are allergic to aspirin must speak to the pharmacist or their GP before taking it.
If constipation occurs with IBS, then a diet of more fiber, fruit, vegetables and a greater fluid intake, especially of water, should be followed.
There are two main types of fiber - soluble and insoluble.
One is very good for IBS sufferers, the other is not.
Soluble fiber is an IBS sufferers best friend. It helps stabilize the GI tract and helps relieve both constipation and diarrhea.
Insoluble fiber has the opposite effect and is an irritant to the intestines and should be avoided.
Some people take a fiber supplement, such as Fibogel, as a drink each day. A mild laxative may also be helpful, but should not be taken constantly.
It should be remembered that for some people, fruit, vegetables and bran fiber exacerbate the effects of IBS, resulting in stomach pain, gas and/or diarrhea.
Since IBS affects all people differently, it is often a case of trying different foods until a suitable diet is found for the individual.
See our article on foods to avoid with IBS
for more information.
Some complimentary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage,
cognitive behavioral therapy,
and hypnotherapy have been shown to be effective in the treatment of IBS.
Never self-diagnose IBS!
IBS-Life.com always recommends that before taking any IBS medication,
over-the-counter drugs, supplements or herbs, you should consult a physician.
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