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ibs medications

This website does not offer medical advice and has not been written or checked by doctors.

For many IBS sufferers drugs can be ineffective, but drug companies have now started to make drugs specifically for IBS symptoms, such as Lotronex and Zelnorm, and these have had more success.

Some of the older drugs available include anti-spasmodics, which are used to try to stop intestinal spasms and reduce pain, and anti-diarrheals such as Imodium. Anti-depressants can also be given to IBS sufferers in small doses to reduce pain.

I have labeled each medication as OTC (available over-the-counter) or prescription (only available through a doctor).

The medications are listed alphabetically in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen, and they are listed below by category. Medications labeled with 'United Kingdom' are generally only available in the UK.

IBS-specific medications

Amitiza
A treatment for long-term constipation (prescription).

Linzess
A treatment for constipation (prescription).

Lotronex
Lotronex (alosetron hydrochloride) is a drug for diarrhea-predominant IBS (prescription).

Zelnorm
Zelnorm (tegaserod maleate) is for constipation-predominant IBS (prescription).

Anti-diarrheals

Codeine
An anti-diarrheal medication which is also a painkiller (usually prescription, available in some countries as OTC in smaller doses).

Imodium
The most widely available drug for short-term control of diarrhea (OTC).

Lomotil
A drug for treating diarrhea (prescription).

Pepto-Bismol
The famous pink liquid which can treat diarrhea and stomach discomfort (OTC).

Laxatives and stool softeners

Colace
Perhaps the best-known stool softener, containing docusate sodium (OTC).

Dulcolax
A stimulant laxative containing bisacodyl (OTC).

Exlax
A stimulant, senna-containing laxative (OTC).

Lactulose
A sugary syrup which can add water to the stool (prescription).

Milk of magnesia
A saline laxative which works by drawing water into the colon (OTC).

Miralax
An osmotic laxative which comes in powder form (OTC).

Anti-spasmodics

Bentyl
Anti-spasmodic containing dicyclomine (prescription).

Buscopan
Hyoscine-N-butylbromide tablets (OTC) (United Kingdom).

Colofac
Mebeverine hydrochloride tablets (OTC) (United Kingdom).

Dicetel
An anti-spasmodic containing pinaverium bromide (prescription).

Donnatal
An anti-spasmodic that contains phenobarbital, hyoscyamine, atropine and scopolamine (prescription).

Duspatalin
An anti-spasmodic that contains mebeverine hydrochloride (prescription).

Levsin
Anti-spasmodic containing hyoscyamine (prescription).

Librax
A combination of an anti-spasmodic and a sedative, chlordiazepoxide and clidinium bromide (prescription).

Nulev
Hyoscyamine sulfate tablets (prescription).

Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications

Effexor
The brand name for venlafaxine, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor anti-depressant (prescription).

Elavil
The brand name for amitriptyline, a tricyclic anti-depressant (prescription).

Paxil
The brand name for paroxetine, an SSRI drug (prescription).

Zoloft
The brand name for sertraline, an SSRI drug (prescription).

Bile-absorbing and binding medications (often used after gallbladder removal)

Colestid
Colestid is a powder which can absorb excess bile acid from the gut (prescription).

Questran
Questran is very similar to Colestid, and absorbs excess bile from the intestines (prescription).

Questran Light
Questran Light is the low-calorie version of Questran (prescription).

Welchol
Welchol binds excess bile in the intestinal tract (prescription).

Heartburn/acid reflux medication

Prevacid
For recurring heartburn pain (prescription).