IBS Tales Home > Treatment Reviews > IBS Medications > Colofac
Colofac (mebeverine hydrochloride) is an anti-spasmodic medication, which means it acts on the muscles in the gut and causes them to relax. Colofac also contains lactose. It is designed to treat intestinal spasms, cramps, bloating and wind, as well as the diarrhea or constipation which accompany these symptoms. Colofac comes in tablet form and is swallowed with water.
Colofac side effects
The most common side effects of Colofac are angioedema (swelling beneath the skin), hypersensitivity or allergic reactions, a skin rash and urticaria (hives).
REVIEWS OF COLOFAC
Review by Carmel
I had my gallbladder removed nearly two years ago and in August I started getting desperate cramps and diarrhea after I ate most things. I was taking Spasmonal but it didn't stop the diarrhea. Yesterday my GP put me on Colofac and so far so good, my cramps are gone and I can enjoy food again. I just hope it lasts.
Review by Melanie
I've been taking a cocktail of medicines since I was born for variating bowel movements, including Fybogel, Exlax, Imodium and Rehydrat Orange. It's rather strange for a baby to have IBS and they didn't diagnose it until I was 19 years old, when I started trying other medications. Until then anything was kicking it off - not eating enough, eating too much, getting wet and cold around the tummy area, eating spicy or acidic foods, stress, lying on my tummy, wearing tight clothing around the tummy or stomach area and viruses and infections.
I can remember my father giving me half a chunk of Exlax almost every week and suffering with constipation and excruciating tummy pains until my mid-teens, when it then changed to diarrhea and I started taking Rehydrat Orange and Immodium. I was given a cocktail of various medicines by my doctor, including mesalamine granuals, in an attempt to balance out my digestion system by using both a laxative and an anti-diarrheal, but it didn't work.
I also tried alternative therapy where I was advised to eat a tablespoon of yeast a day, but that caused me even greater problems with stomach bloating, gas and stomach cramps. I was using Co-codamol for a long time to help relieve the pain and stop the diarrhea attacks, but that would then leave me feeling nauseous, tired and suffering stomach cramps for hours. I tried charcoal and peppermint tablets and peppermint tea to relax the muscles but they made me feel nauseous and didn't really help at all.
Finally I went to another doctor and he prescribed mebeverine. I didn't expect a miracle drug, but within 15 minutes the diarrhea slowed down and the stomach cramps eased off. I felt exhausted and slightly bloated but it was better than the constant gripping pain in my tummy. For about a year I took mebeverine and the over-the-counter brand Colofac regularly, until eventually I wasn't needing it on a regular basis. I'm able now to eat spicy foods and I have developed a tolerance for them, providing they aren't too spicy. I rarely need to take Colofac anymore but I keep it around the house and a packet in my bag in case I get a sudden attack from something I ate.
Review by Nina
I'm 23 and last week I was officially diagnosed with IBS. I have suffered from stomach cramps and having to run to the toilet for years, mainly when my body felt tense due to arguments, excitement, nervousness...the list goes on. Any normal human emotion and I'd be locked in the bathroom. (It nearly even ruined my graduation, but thankfully I had Imodium at hand so that saved me even if just for the day.
Tests were always clear. I'd had enough and finally a doctor who had experienced the same thing prescribed mebeverine. I have been taking one tablet three times a day for only four days but so far so good. I feel like I've had a pang of a dodgy stomach today, but I'll carry on for the four-week prescription and see how I get on. I have had constipation which has made me uncomfortable. You can't win with this IBS.
Review by Liz
I am Australian, 32 years old, and after several years of suffering episodes of diarrhea (only) - the urgent, embarrassing and completely draining in every way type - it has been ruling my life for some time. I had all the usual tests and I was diagnosed with IBS about six months ago. I am reliant on various herbal remedies (relaxants etc) which work with the tendencies I have to get stressed anyway.
Having just started taking Colofac I have found it to be superb. I'm much more relaxed and I do not have the urgency attached to spasms in the gut. It has however changed everything in terms of needing to go at weird times in the night and although I am more regular, it is definitely not natural! All this however has been much better than the previous alternative so I'm going to stick with it for a few months and see how things go.
Review by Aaron
I have suffered from IBS for eight years without knowing that this was my problem. Doctors were unable to tell me what was wrong with me. I have finally seen a doc who knows what he is on about and he prescribed Colofac. It's helped a lot but I still get occasional bloating. The stools are a bit more regular than previously though, and overall I am 90% better than before, so that makes me happy!
Review by Danni
I was diagnosed with IBS in 1999. I tried many different medications, including Fybogel, lactulose, Movelat and more recently Colofac. This is the only medication that has had any effect whatsoever, but only in the short term. I have experienced constipation for four weeks, and only after very strong doses over the space of two weeks was there any effect whatsoever. I have since been referred to St Mark's Hospital in London where they do a treatment called biofeedback to retrain the bowel and actually stop IBS.
Review by Safs
I was diagnosed with IBS in 2005 with symptoms like excessive flatulence, excruciating abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements, sometimes diarrhea and sometimes constipation. I eventually went to a gynecologist and found out I had ovarian cysts as well. The gynecologist prescribed Colofac which provided relief. I could eat anything provided I took Colofac, but after two months I noticed blood in my stool so I stopped taking it and now I'm back to square one, ie: pain, pain and more pain.
Review by Jane
I have been taking Colofac for four months now. It has certainly helped me and although I still presently have IBS symptoms, they are less severe than they used to be. I tried other anti-spasmodic tablets but none of the others seemed to work. I have ordered Michael Mahoney's Audio Program 100, so I hope that this too will help further. Fybogel is also useful, though I find that two sachets a day don't help, but one seems to take the edge off the IBS-D.
Review by Elena
I'm a 20 year-old college student and I've been having intestinal problems for at least three years. Almost any food I ate would set off painful cramps, and the frequent gas and diarrhea were particularly embarrassing, especially in the realms of dating and crowded lecture theaters.
My doctor recently diagnosed me with IBS and prescribed Colofac. Almost as soon as I began taking it - 30 minutes before each meal with a glass of water - the symptoms eased considerably. Bowel movements became more relaxed and normal and food became pleasant again because I knew it wouldn't be followed by horrific pain. I've been able to relax more because of it, which has helped, I think, to lessen the symptoms even further.
Review by Brenna
This product saved my life. I couldn't tell if I was having female problems or IBS, as sometimes period stuff sets off IBS. Sometimes I couldn't eat anything at all. So I started using Colofac and slowing breaking back into food with easy to digest things like rice with chicken. Dairy products are very bad. I must remember to take the Colofac at least 20 minutes before I eat. I also use fennel tea or peppermint tea for bloating and gas.
Review by Carol
I was diagnosed with IBS several months ago and told to exercise more, relax and watch what I eat. I wish I could have exercised, but with the pain I was in that was impossible. I tried to relax, but again that's impossible when your bowel is having a major spasm.
Finally, after going back to a different doctor and having a major breakdown I was put on Colofac to take before a meal, then Fybogel to follow a meal. Within days my life was transformed, I had so much energy, work was enjoyable and I was sleeping well. I think Colofac is great but I need to take it with Fybogel for a complete result.
Review by Neil
I have been suffering from IBS for at least 15 years. I have also been suffering from a reflux condition for at least five years. I have found that the IBS I have was what my mother suffered from for years, and my father also had a reflux condition that was poorly diagnosed.
Having had my gallbladder taken out I thought it would relieve the pressure from my stomach, which it did for a while, but the IBS has always been there. When I have a meal I always have the urge to go to the bathroom, which does upset your social life.
In the last three months I have also been having to go to the bathroom at least five times during the morning. Plus my sleep pattern is interrupted, waking up in the early morning with an ache under my lower rib cage. Anyway the good news is that my doctor has started me on Colofac, and in the last 24 hours I have not suffered with an ache in the stomach and I have also noticed that I am not making it a priority to visit the bathroom. Also I'm taking Nexium 20mg once in the morning, so fingers crossed.
Review by Caroline
I was diagnosed with IBS following the cesarean birth of my second child. The gastroenterologist told me there was nothing he could do and that I would learn which foods triggered it. Two years of hell followed, with rampant diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, constipation and exhaustion. Sometimes I would be in bed for days racked with agony.
Finally a chance conversation with a shop assistant turned up the name Colofac and I was right around to the doctor. Well it worked wonders. Buscopan had eased the stomach pain but nothing else.
I did learn to stop buying certain types of chocolate that I realized were triggering it, but I also learnt the value of fiber, and if I go three days without plenty of vegetables I suffer. I don't eat fast food takeaways anymore, and I gave up fizzy drinks.
I stopped taking Colofac a couple of years ago and now only take it when symptoms return, usually when I'm under stress or in summer when I don't get enough veggies. I am also finding that IBS is aggravating my tachycardia so I'm back on the Colofac again. I also take Metamucil which is psyllium husks in water and that also helps a lot.
Review by Grainne
I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome about a year ago. My stomach was so bloated and sore, my guts felt like they were rotting inside me! I started puking and I wasn't able to keep any food down. The doctor said my stomach had become so agitated by my bowels that it couldn't take anymore food because the bowels themselves weren't able to take anymore. She gave me Colofac but it didn't work, so I had to go on a strict fruit and fiber diet. That worked, but recently my stomach has gotten really bad again. This time Colofac has worked! It's making day-to-day things easy again when before this I couldn't even go for a 10-minute walk because of the pain.
Review by Justin
I'm 26 years old and I was diagnosed with IBS over five years ago. I suffer from regular severe cramps in my upper abdomen, both left and right sides, but the worst symptom is that my whole stomach feels like it tightens up like a rock and stops me from eating as the pain is unbearable. I also suffer from acid reflux and indigestion.
I'm taking mebeverine but I find it has no use at all. I also take omeprazole for acid reflux which does work. I believe these symptoms are triggered by a combination of food intolerance and stress but I am yet to find anything to help me with this.
Review by Kim
I have been suffering with episodes of stomach cramps, wind etc for over a year. Initially I was sent for a scan which showed gallstones, but the surgeon was not convinced this was the cause. I had no other bowel complaints but he decided to try me on Buscopan, but this did nothing at all to ease the pain.
On my return visit he gave me Colofac capsules and instructed me to take double the normal dose, so I took two in the morning and two in the evening. The result was almost instant - no more pain for six months. I recently tried leaving them off and the pain has returned. I now know it is irritable bowel syndrome and I will resume taking the tablets again. The only problem with taking my dosage is apparently risk of dehydration so I have to drink lots, but there are no other side effects.
Review by Jim
I'm 54. I was diagnosed with mild IBS coupled with diverticulitis when I was 32, both with similar symptoms. I was put on Colofac for the cramps and pain in my lower intestines and colon. I find Colofac excellent to calm the intestines and lift the depression associated with this condition.
When I was suffering with the cramps and pain I wanted to pack in the job, sit in an armchair, do nothing and be left alone. On a good day I loved the job. It was a constant battle, will I/won't I. Since taking the Colofac I find myself much more relaxed and in better humor. Also what worked for me was drinking loads of water between meals. I felt much lighter. Bran flakes mixed with banana also worked well.
Review by Donna
I am 39, and I had never experienced any health problems until I started with stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and the worst case of diarrhea, going up to a dozen times by lunch. It was leaving me with no appetite, and feeling tired, lethargic and down. After tests the doctor diagnosed me as an IBS sufferer, what joy!
Colofac was prescribed, one tablet taken three times a day 20 minutes before food, and what a difference they have made already. I feel more confident again, and no more dashing to the toilet at work and having embarrassing wind. I have not tried the foods which seemed to make the IBS worse yet mainly due to fear.
Review by Ruth
I developed IBS after undergoing a hysterectomy seven years ago. At first the main symptoms were bloating and constipation. I have never had a problem with diarrhea. In the past three years the symptoms have worsened and now include cramps. The bloating happens daily and is sometimes so bad that people have assumed I'm pregnant. I end every day feeling as if my clothes have been welded to my body, no matter how loose they were that morning.
When the cramps started, my doctor prescribed a 10-day course of Colofac, which was amazing. In a couple of days all the symptoms were gone, including the bloating and gas. I could wear jeans again and be comfortable! The improvement lasted for quite a few months, but in the last two years they have returned and nothing seems to help.
I have tried changing diet, using more fiber, using less fiber, avoiding certain foods, using peppermint and fennel tea, eating more often, eating less, eating nothing - all of which helped for a week or two. Then it was back to square one. I am now taking Colofac again, one tablet three times a day, but its effect is minimal. The cramps are worse, wearing any clothes at all causes me to blow up like a balloon, and I find the whole business depressing. I don't want to take Colofac for years and years, but there is nothing else.
Review by Lynne
I am 35 years old and I was diagnosed with IBS 17 years ago after having a series of tests (some very unpleasant) which all came back clear. I was prescribed Colofac and Fybogel. I had to take one Colofac three times a day before a meal and a Fybogel after each meal. After years of trial and error and finding out which foods to avoid, including certain types of fiber which most doctors state to take more of, I now take two Colofac tablets a day with water 20 minutes before a meal (breakfast and main meal). I no longer need the Fybogel. Live bio yogurt has to be taken most days but if it wasn't for the Colofac my life would have been completely ruined.
Review by Shirley
I've had IBS since I was 21, but didn't realize it until I looked into things as I became older, as the symptoms were uncontrollable and controlling me. I am now 27 and I have been diagnosed with IBS in the last year. I've had various tests done such as a laparoscopy and a colonoscopy, all tests were clear.
I find if I get stressed the symptoms get worse. I was prescribed Colofac which I thought was great for the first week - I felt normal again, but the least thing triggered it off. Like other IBS sufferers I don't have the most exciting diet, you're eating something and thinking 'Is this going to trigger it off?' I am trying each day to control IBS by going to the gym, using deep breathing from the stomach, and trying to eat the right foods, and of course Colofac.
Review by Mary
Colofac was first prescribed for me some time ago after initial diagnosis about 20 years ago. I try not to depend on it, but to get by with being careful about what I eat. When there are flare-ups, which may be linked to times of greater stress or eating some more exotic food than usual - but it's hard to be absolutely sure - I use Colofac for a few days.
In most cases it seems to help, but because the flare-ups are episodic it's not easy to be sure if it's the Colofac that's making the difference. Overall I regard it as helpful, but would consider a different product if it could have a longer-term impact.
Review by Carol
I was diagnosed with IBS way back in 1969. I have been on Colofac since then. Sometimes it works and other times, well, I'm going to the States tomorrow and my stomach is distended and I am in pain despite taking Colofac today. So I'm going to load up with Imodium, which sometimes doesn't work either, and hope I don't have an accident on the plane.
Review by Alison
I'm 23 and I have had IBS since I was 15. It's controlled my life. The first time I went to the doctors about it they told me it was IBS and there was nothing they could do, just get on with it and watch what I eat.
Watching what I ate helped but didn't stop it, and this last week after three weeks of non-stop stomach cramps I had a complete breakdown at my doctor's surgery. First of all he kept trying to tell me I was depressed, which is true, but after three weeks of not being able to eat, stomach cramps, vomiting, lack of sleep and diarrhea, wouldn't you be?
In the end I was prescribed Colofac for the cramps and metoclopramide for the vomiting, and so far so good. I've only been on it a week but I have been fine from the day I started taking the pills. I'm still worried that I'll become immune to it, but even if it's just a break from it for now it's better then nothing. I've actually managed to get my daughter to school every day this week.
Review by Muntathar
I'm 18 and I have had IBS for extensive periods of my life. As a student it has been absolute hell - exams and assignments have all been affected and I have lived in misery. I tried Flagyl (an antibiotic for bacteria in the lower intestines). Flagyl removed all the symptoms when I first took it. I was in shock at its effectiveness. Recently I had a resurge in IBS which came as a shock. So I went and had another round of antibiotics, which as of today did pretty much nothing.
I've had Colofac in the past and it did moderate my symptoms. I'm a fit healthy strong bloke and seem like superman but IBS was my silver bullet which shows it can strike anyone anytime. I currently have all the symptoms of IBS and there's nothing I can do except stay patient. Colofac helped with cramps but I needed Lomotil along with it to control stools. So Colofac only removes the big symptoms and helps me move through each day.
Review by Mark
I'm Mark, I live in Galway, Republic of Ireland, and I'm 37. I've never been sick in my life and when I was diagnosed with IBS I knew nothing about it and presumed it would pass. I'm not particularly stressed, I'm quite fit and my diet would be average.
I was prescribed Colofac and it worked wonders - I'd putting off seeing my doctor for two months. I was trying all kinds of high fiber foods to see if it could sort itself out. My doctor sent me for a colonoscopy on my insistence. That came back all clear but I seem to have been dismissed just because I've been diagnosed. I'm trying Colpermin at the moment but it just doesn't have a positive effect on my IBS.
I'm fit, I'm healthy and I'm too young and strong to have this dictate how I live the remainder of my life. I'm going back on the Colofac, I'm going to study my diet and I am going to control this.
Review by Ayo
I have had problems with IBS for over three years and nothing has seemed to help. Trust me, I have tried almost everything. But over the past few days I had a terrible time with cramps and really felt very, very unwell. I went to my pharmacist who gave me Colofac and I felt the difference almost immediately. It's the first medicine I've taken that has made any difference. Thank God for Colofac!
Review by Vicky
I'm 15 and have had IBS for over a year now, which has been hell with school. I've had to take so much time off and most people think I'm faking. The doctor prescribed Colofac, which in the beginning was great as it would take away my stomach cramps and help with diarrhea, but I feel the longer I'm taking it the less it helps. It feels like I've become immune to it. I've got big exams coming up and I'm worried I wont be able to do them.
Review by Zoe
When I first started using Colofac it was a wonderful drug and gave me my freedom back. I would take one tablet before anything I ate or if I drunk a alcoholic drink. I found that I could even feel it working if I was eating something and my stomach started gurgling (rushing to find a loo to open my bowel to follow shortly), then I would take a tablet, feel my stomach working and then slow down. I am still taking these tablets but have become mostly immune to them, so at the moment I am looking for alternatives. If you have diarrhea-form IBS with cramps then I would recommend that you give this a try if you haven't done already.
Review by Asha
I have suffered from IBS for over 11 years now. It started when I was 15 and the doctor gave me dicyclomine syrup which helped at the time. It didn't cure me but it helped with my stomach cramps and constipation. At the age of about 20 I was a lot better and stopped taking this medication. At the age of 21 I got married. I was still suffering from IBS but not as a severe case.
I had to watch what I ate and found that Indian food and spices triggered the symptoms, so I lived on very bland food. I did get quite depressed as I couldn't enjoy other foods that other people ate. I've got a very sweet tooth and I had to sacrifice my eating habits for the sake of my health.
I went to see my doctor and he prescribed Colofac. This worked wonders and I found I could enjoy all the foods I've always wanted to. Colofac helped in all my symptoms - I didn't get stomach cramps, I could sleep at night, I didn't feel depressed and my constipation had gone! I was over the moon, I felt I got my life back and I had so much more self esteem.
After the birth of my son in July 2005 I couldn't have felt any better! I was perfect, no cramps, no constipation, no restless nights and no bloating feeling! This was great I thought, I should have had a baby earlier! Then the worst possible thing happened to me - I lost my dad and Granddad, my IBS came back and I was suffering badly.
I kept feeling sick, bloated, stomach cramps, having the urge to go to the toilet all the time, life really did become unbearable. I was having so much time off work because of this and I was suffering from depression and anxiety. The doctor prescribed Fybogel Mebeverine which was a sachet of orange granules and had to be taken half an hour before eating.
At first I felt quite bloated by taking this but after a few days I didn't feel too bad. After maybe a month of taking this I still didn't feel any better so the doctor prescribed Buscopan. I only ever took one tablet as I was on other medication and was told not to take this at the same time. I don't know if Buscopan would have helped or not but after taking it just once it did get rid of my stomach cramps.
Seeing as I was still suffering from this I went back to my doctor and he then prescribed dicyclomine syrup. I have been taking this medicine for about a week and still don't feel any better! I really am getting depressed now, I feel I have got no life and can't go out anywhere because of the constant discomfort. The dicyclomine syrup made me feel sick and I felt anxious all the time. It wasn't helping my constipation either.
I feel now I might start to take the Colofac again seeing as I felt this is the only medicine that did work. I just hope my body will accept it because I've had so many other medicines! I know what it is like to suffer from IBS - it can get very depressing and it can make you lose confidence in yourself. It just makes me feel better to think that I'm not alone.
Review by Rebecca
I have had IBS for 14 years. It came on suddenly and has only ever got worse. Colofac is the only thing that gives me relief, but that is fading. I am having to increase the quantity I take just to ease the symptoms, not relieve them completely now. So I am up to nearly four tablets each time I have an attack! I have only been using Colofac for three years now, what is going to happen in another three years?
I just have to ignore the pain most of the time. I have lost jobs due to my inability to work on through the pain in the past - but what else can I do now? I am also on anti-depressants due to the constant pain and loss of enjoyment in life, food, the universe and everything! Thank God for Colofac.
Review by Jenny
This is the only thing that has ever helped me with IBS-diarrhea. It doesn't stop all the symptoms but it calms the cramps and lower back pain.
Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Colofac? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.