Equalactin contains calcium polycarbophil, a fiber product which is also found in the supplement Fibercon. The idea behind Equalactin is that it equalizes the amount of water in the intestinal tract, thereby relieving IBS symptoms. It is specifically marketed at IBS sufferers.
Equalactin can help with diarrhea and constipation. If you suffer from diarrhea then Equalactin can help absorb some of the excess water. For constipation sufferers, the product can help to bind water to the dry stool and produce softer stools that are easier to pass. Equalactin comes in tablet form and is chewed and then swallowed with water.
Equalactin side effects
The most common side effects of Equalactin are bloackages in the digestive system, skin inflammation, itching and rashes.
How successful is Equalactin in clinical trials?
A study published in the journal Hepato-gastroenterology looked at the effects of calcium polycarbophil, the main ingredient in Equalactin, on general IBS symptoms. Fourteen patients with IBS-diarrhea and 12 with IBS-constipation were given calcium polycarbophil for eight weeks, and their colon transit times were measured with radiopaque markers in the colon.
The patients with diarrhea reported fewer bowel movements, more solid stools, and reduced abdominal pain. Patients with constipation reported more frequent bowel movements, looser stools and less pain.
Conclusion: Calcium polycarbophil is useful in improving colonic transit, bowel movements, stool form and abdominal pain in both types of IBS. Pubmed article: Chiba T, Kudara N, Sato M, Chishima R, Abiko Y, Inomata M, Orii S, Suzuki K
REVIEWS OF EQUALACTIN
Review by Tiffany
They have changed Equalactin! This product has been my lifesaver for nearly 20 years, but I just received a new batch and the texture has changed. I saw a review on drugstore.com and this person indicates the same thing. And that they've added an ingredient. The packaging on the front now calls it a laxative. I'm calling them tomorrow to complain and to request a previous lot.
Review by Ngallo
I am so glad I found your site! Equalactin is a lifesaver! I've suffered IBS bouts for two decades and I found the chewable tablets a long time ago. However, I haven't been able to find them since. If I was under a lot of stress my symptoms were horrible and basically stopped digestion, creating diarrhea and near vomiting for days. Nothing would help, except this wonderful med. Almost immediately the symptoms regulated themselves with no side effects! The symptoms are so bad that I have carried the two last tablets from about 10 years ago just in case. (I'm afraid to take them but afraid to throw them away.) I can't wait to ask my pharmacist to get some for me!
Review by Gary
I have IBS, and I used to have severely painful flare-ups. Everything I tried would take several days to provide relief. Then a friend told me about Equalactin. For me it worked almost like magic, and I get relief usually within one day. I've only ever seen it on the shelf once at a small non-chain drugstore, but if you request it most pharmacies (and even Wal-Mart) will order it in for you, usually taking about a week to get in. My opinion is the big chains don't put it on the shelf because it works too well (before I found it I tried over a dozen other products).
Review by Nancy
I have been a sufferer of IBS-A (alternating IBS) for years. Many doctors later I found Equalactin. At the first pain I pop two in my mouth and never leave home without them. Also, a muscle relaxer called Soma helps with the muscle cramps. I also have fibro and Elavil helps that also.
Review by Nancy
I have been diagnosed over the years with everything from colitis to diverticulitis to IBS. I've been pretty lucky for sometime, but just recently I had a bout that knocked me over with pain. I tried Gas-X, Metamucil, Beano, aloe vera juice (apparently if it reacts on the skin it will react in your tummy - I found out the hard way about that). Finally I looked in an old purse and found two Equalactin, and it worked like a charm. It is hard to find though. I went to Walgreens and they ordered it from Numark and it works great. However, it seems that symptoms of lactose intolerance and IBS are so similar that now I take a Lactaid tablet also just in case.
Review by Chris
This stuff is a lifesaver! I ordered it specially after reading about it on here (I couldn't find it in my local drugstore) and boy, am I glad I did. I took two pills as directed, and it stopped an acute attack of diarrhea in only a matter of hours. In fact, it works so well that it's even left me a wee bit constipated. However, it's stopped the diarrhea, cramping, and nausea so I am as happy as can be. I am definitely going to stock up on this stuff.
Review by Edie
About two years ago I started having problems with my stomach, went through various tests, had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed a year ago with IBS at 28. I had previously tried many other OTC products with fiber but without any good results. My doctor prescribed a medication for the stomach cramping to take before meals, but more importantly he also told me to take two tablets of Equalactin before each meal, regardless of exactly what I was eating. I do admit I forget from time to time but especially for flare-ups this is the world's best medication!
My mother-in-law also has been diagnosed with IBS and she struggled for many years without relief but now she takes Equalactin. The two of us are quite the pair and strong advocates for Equalactin, and we couldn't live without it! We live in a small town area and don't have some of these national chain pharmacies around us. We both get our prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart Supercenter. Upon request the pharmacist can order the Equalactin for you and keep it behind the pharmacy counter and keep it stocked if you request it.
This is the best medicine for me and I usually see relief within a few hours to the next day. I have at times been really low before going out of town and it is nice that most Rite-Aid pharmacies carry it too, but behind the counter. There is nothing in it that is restricted but rather there is just not a high demand for it to be out on the shelves. Tell your friends and family about Equalactin so it can be easier to purchase. I wouldn't go a day without it!
Review by Anita
After years of bouts of diarrhea, constipation and constant bloating that has at times been limiting to my activities, and taking every kind of fiber, changing my diet, etc, I took Equalactin after hearing positive reviews from other IBS sufferers. It works! Within 24 hours of taking Equalactin, I was on my way back to 'normal'. I can't recommend it enough.
Review by Barbara
Equalactin has saved me from many embarrassing moments with diarrhea. I was tested for colon cancer and other things, but upon taking Equalactin, all symptoms became less troublesome. I still have IBS, but I am able to live a normal life without always needing to know where the toilet is when going to an event. I swear by Equalactin, and when living in Europe I always bought 10 boxes to take back with me to Holland.
Review by Keith
This is a Godsend medication and works very, very well for flare-ups. Best advice is to make a chart of what you can tolerate and what you can't. For people looking for the medication, you can usually order it from any pharmacy. Your best bet is to go to a pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens. If they don't have it on the shelves, you can always order it from them. They've got it in the warehouse usually.
Review by Lisa
I work for CVS Pharmacy in Boston as a certified pharmacy technician, and I've been suffering with IBS for six years. I'm going through a flare-up of IBS-C with pain and tons of bloat and water retention right now, so I asked my pharmacy manager which drug my doctor should give me. Unfortunately, my pharmacy manager said there's not much out there on the market for IBS.
So I roamed down the medicine aisle in our store to find something OTC, and found Equalactin and Digestive Advantage IBS. I showed my pharmacy manager and he wasn't too excited about either product. He actually advised that I get the probiotic dietary supplement rather than Equalactin, but since I was desperate, and the information on the back of the Equalactin packet seemed so much more scientifically correct ('provides relief by equalizing water balance...'), I got both.
I'm writing to you because, according to the testimonials on this page, there seems to be a shortage of Equalactin...as in, people are having a hard time finding stores that carry it. We've got plenty at my CVS, and I'm sure you can order the product online.
I've just taken my first tablet, and I feel hopeful from the success stories I've read on this website. I really do hope this works...I can barely fit into the majority of my work trousers right now, not to even mention every pair of jeans I own! If it works for me, I'll be sure to recommend it to anyone who comes to my pharmacy looking for advice on IBS.
Review by Lee
For over 10 years I suffered from bowel pain, constipation and loose stools, and my MD overlooked the symptoms. I thought there was something seriously wrong, expecting to be diagnosed with something eventually requiring hospitalization and surgery. Without any referral from my general doctor, I sought out a colon doctor. He explained to me that I had IBS and suggested certain dietary changes that made some difference in my symptoms.
Since the diagnosis, though, I would have flare-ups that would last for weeks. Then I saw Equalactin on the shelf of my pharmacy in about 2004. I have used it off and on when my symptoms have gotten bad. The Equalactin usually turns things around in a few days. I don't know what I'd do without this product. Probably suffer a flare-up for weeks rather than days.
Review by Ginny
Equalactin has really helped my IBS. By just chewing one or two pills during or before an IBS attack I can lessen the symptoms or stave off the attack completely. Unfortunately, Equalactin is hard to find in stores.
Review by Linda
Equalactin is the only product that I have found to help me live with IBS. I can't eat during my period unless I have Equalactin. My digestion is very sensitive during that time of the month. Plus I use Equalactin when I eat certain foods that I know give me problems, like tomatoes, spicy foods and more.
This product has been a lifesaver for me. I very rarely have an attack anymore. I've been using this product for seven years now and just recently Walgreens in my area is discontinuing it. And I can't find it anywhere else. I know it's in demand here because many times I had to go to more then one Walgreens to get it. It looks like my next option is to buy it online and make sure I never run out.
Review by Dolores
Whenever I get cramps and/or diarrhea I take one Equalactin tablet, sometimes followed later by another one. It usually helps. The only worry is that you have to chew it well, and drink water with it or it claims it could swell in your throat and choke you. My drug store special orders it for me. They used to carry it, but haven't now for over a year.
Review by Elise
This product was recommended to me by my gastroenterologist back in 1989 after other fiber supplements seemed to aggravate my IBS. It has been extremely helpful in making me more regular - and it doesn't cause bad cramping like other fiber supplements or laxatives do. I appreciate the near total lack of side effects - no dry mouth, no drowsiness, no additional cramping. Just good results.
What's frustrating, though, is that drug stores (at least where I live) have stopped carrying it, so it is becoming harder to find and purchase. This worries me because it has been so helpful and I have recommended it to many others who have found it equally helpful. I'm not sure what I'll do without it.
Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Equalactin? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.