IBS Tales Home > Treatment Reviews > IBS Medications
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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.
A treatment for long-term constipation (prescription).
A treatment for constipation (prescription).
Lotronex (alosetron hydrochloride) is a drug for diarrhea-predominant IBS (prescription).
Zelnorm (tegaserod maleate) is for constipation-predominant IBS (prescription).
An anti-diarrheal medication which is also a painkiller (usually prescription, available in some countries as OTC in smaller doses).
The most widely available drug for short-term control of diarrhea (OTC).
A drug for treating diarrhea (prescription).
The famous pink liquid which can treat diarrhea and stomach discomfort (OTC).
Laxatives and stool softeners
Perhaps the best-known stool softener, containing docusate sodium (OTC).
A stimulant laxative containing bisacodyl (OTC).
A stimulant, senna-containing laxative (OTC).
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).
An osmotic laxative which comes in powder form (OTC).
Anti-spasmodic containing dicyclomine (prescription).
Hyoscine-N-butylbromide tablets (OTC) (United Kingdom).
Mebeverine hydrochloride tablets (OTC) (United Kingdom).
An anti-spasmodic containing pinaverium bromide (prescription).
An anti-spasmodic that contains phenobarbital, hyoscyamine, atropine and scopolamine (prescription).
An anti-spasmodic that contains mebeverine hydrochloride (prescription).
Anti-spasmodic containing hyoscyamine (prescription).
A combination of an anti-spasmodic and a sedative, chlordiazepoxide and clidinium bromide (prescription).
Hyoscyamine sulfate tablets (prescription).
Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications
The brand name for venlafaxine, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor anti-depressant (prescription).
The brand name for amitriptyline, a tricyclic anti-depressant (prescription).
The brand name for paroxetine, an SSRI drug (prescription).
The brand name for sertraline, an SSRI drug (prescription).
Bile-absorbing and binding medications (often used after gallbladder removal)
Colestid is a powder which can absorb excess bile acid from the gut (prescription).
Questran is very similar to Colestid, and absorbs excess bile from the intestines (prescription).
Questran Light is the low-calorie version of Questran (prescription).
Welchol binds excess bile in the intestinal tract (prescription).
Heartburn/acid reflux medication
For recurring heartburn pain (prescription).