IBS Tales Home > Treatment Reviews > IBS Medications > Bentyl


Overall rating 4/5 based on 23 reviews

Bentyl (dicyclomine) is an anti-spasmodic drug which relaxes the muscle in the wall of the gut. It can reduce the intestinal contractions of an irritable bowel and therefore reduce pain and diarrhea. It is usually taken in table form, but a syrup form is also available.

Bentyl side effects

The most common side effects of Bentyl are dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, weakness, blurred vision, dry eyes, dry mouth, nausea, constipation and abdominal bloating.


Review by Patricia

I have had IBS since 2009. No other medication works for me except the Bentyl brand name drug. It was such a good medication for me but unfortunately it was discontinued in Canada in 2017 and I'm so upset because I don't know why. It's available in America but I can't order online.

Review by Lydia

I am seeking others with side effects from Bentyl. I had so much hope for dicyclomine/Bentyl. I've had IBS-D since my teens and I have been in an IBS/ulcerative colitis flare for four years straight now. Usually I can 'healthy' myself out of them but this one is bad. I haven't found a med that works for me, including 'biologics'.

I'm trying to avoid a colectemy so I started going backwards, trying older drugs or medicines I haven't taken in a while. Dicyclomine took the pain away, which surprised me. Outside of Lortab, which is impossible for people who legitimately need it to get, nothing relieved my pain until dicyclomine. Then the side effects started.

Has anyone else had extreme weakness? I mean, it was impossible to raise my arms. The doctor thought I was dehydrated and gave me two bags of saline IV and IV iron treatment. I was still weak but it was not acute. I started dicyclomine again and the same thing happened, only this time it was hard to breathe. The doctor sent me to hospital. I got a blood transfusion, more saline and iron and this time potassium too.

I didn't take dicyclomine in hospital. They let me take hydrocodone in quarter stregth doses until it worked - I've always done that so I don't get spacey. It's such a shame that the one thing that offered me relief was taken from me because other people misused it.

Anyhow, back home I started dicyclomine again and the weakness is through my entire body, even my legs. I only took it three times and started on the fourth day out of hospital, not taking any other pain meds or meds with known interactions except maybe Wellbutrin 200mg. I saw one report where they interacted but everything I've ever seen since says different.

Anyhow, the weakness won't go away now, even though I've stopped dicyclomine. I have heart arrhythmia now too. Has anyone had this happen? The doctor at the hospital thought that the symptoms would fade if I took it for longer but that sounds insane to me. Has anyone had weakness that went away the longer you took it? I'm desperate to not be in pain and have some semblance of a normal life. Bentyl is as close as I've come to it. I would appreciate your help.

Review by Tracey

I was prescribed Bentyl and Miralax in the ER for IBS-C. Because Bentyl is an anti-cholinergic/anti-spasmodic I expected it to worsen my constipation. For this reason I put off taking it for several weeks. When I finally started using it my bowel movements became more regular than they've been in my life! I'd only had marginal success with Miralax before but with Bentyl added to the mix it works great.

I take 10-20mg of Bentyl before bed and have a BM every morning like clockwork. As with most meds, Bentyl comes with some side effects. For me these included dry mouth and a feeling of stimulation/euphoria. Nothing to complain about, really. My doctor says Bentyl is only for cramping but it definitely helps my constipation for whatever reason.

Review by Marc

I used Bentyl as needed for a while when I was first diagnosed with IBS 15 years ago. The side effects were much worse for me than the symptoms I had when not taking it, so I stopped taking it. I was able to manage my IBS with diet and exercise (more or less) for the next decade or so, until it came back with a vengeance. Again I tried Bentyl and again the side effects were too much to handle. I read that it's a street drug in some parts of Asia due to the psychedelic side effects!

Review by Lorann

I was prescribed Bentyl by my gastroenterologist after a horrible bout of what we thought was food poisoning/stomach flu/God only knows what I have had IBS for most of my life but passed it off as complications from adhesions in my intestines due to reproductive issues. After beginning the Bentyl I have been able to eat 'real food' and actually go out to dinner. I was unable to do this for a long time, especially during the past two years. I would get violently ill, sometimes before my meal was over, and it became embarrassing on top of making me so sick. I still get sick if I don't take my pills before I eat, or if I take them too close to eating, but it's nothing like it used to be.

My only real complaint about the medication is the weight gain. I've gained 12lbs since starting it, but it looks more like 20 and it feels like even more. The doctor told me to choose my battles, and I do agree that buying new pants because they're too small is much preferable to making the person I'm with run into a store to buy me pants because I went out to eat. But I would like to know if there is any way to combat this weight gain and bloating. I've battled my weight since I was a teenager, and it breaks my heart to gain and look like I'm pregnant all the time.

Review by Teri

I had suffered from IBS for months. My doctor ordered Bentyl, 10mg before meals. I am no longer a hostage to the bathroom. I am pain free. I now have my life back because of this wonderful drug.

Review by Scheryl

A year ago I was prescribed Bentyl, also known as dicyclomine hydrochloride 10mg. I take one or two capsules by mouth four times daily as needed for pain and cramping. My IBS was so severe that I honestly thought I was in labor all over again due to the pain and of course the millions of trips to the bathroom. I could not eat as the smell of food made me so sick to my stomach that I just threw up everywhere.

So I got this miracle pill and I was also taking some probiotics. This medication has helped me much with the pain issues and the trips to the bathroom. However the side effects are unwanted as this pill makes me drink so much from the dry mouth issues that I have gained a ton of weight. I am a soda drinker, I have been all my life, and for me to just cut this out is not something that I am so willing to do. I do not like water; honestly this sounds crazy but water makes my throat hurt, I'm not sure why this happens but it does, and juice is not for me either so it's either I am in pain or I gain a ton of weight.

I do not take this four times a day but I do end up taking it at least twice a day because the pain is still there and it has not gone away. It has greatly decreased my pain level but the pain is still there. I also noticed one other side effect that I have not read about and that is that if I take two pills at once like the directions say I end up getting a lumpy feeling in my throat. If I swallow it just feels as if my throat is closed off. Anyone else having any issues regarding this?

Another thing that I have been reading about is that this medication makes people sleepy. It makes me sleepy too but I had thought this was all in my head as the bottle does not state this as a side effect. Now I know. I do hope this review has helped in some way.

Review by Kelly

I just recently started using this medicine and I must say it seems to be working very well. I've been dealing with these symptoms for about six years. I went to the ER once again and they confirmed it was IBS and gave me pain meds. To help deal with the pain from it I have to go see a gastroenterologist. I never really realized that this is a disease. Many people I read about have had this for 10-plus years!

I'm hopeful that this is really the answer for my pain and problems and I can get to feeling myself again. It has affected my life in so many different ways...but will I really have to take this pill four times a day for the rest of my life? It does make me feel a little funny, I just feel like my muscles are very relaxed. But I will use it for the rest of my life if I don't have to deal with the pain! So anyways, so far thumbs up on Bentyl.

Review by Leigh

I'm a male of 21 years of age and I have suffered from IBS for about a year. I've had attacks that would last months at a time, I had severe pain every day and I was unable to eat anything except crackers, bread and bananas. I suffered from explosive diarrhea four times a day, and with severe attacks I would have perhaps 20 bowel movements within an hour. Life was ruined for me.

I had tried Buscopan, mebeverine and peppermint tablets, all of which did barely anything. But then I was given a liquid form of Bentyl (dicyclomine) called Kolanticon Gel, which may only be available in the UK. It is a mixture of an anti-spasmodic agent dicycloverine hydrochloride (also known as dicyclomine), two antacids (aluminium hydroxide and magnesium oxide) and an anti-flatulent agent (simethicone).

I have to say that after taking it three times a day I'm nearly cured, and 80 to 90% of my symptoms have calmed down with few side effects apart from mildly dry eyes and the vile taste of the liquid. I have to say I have my life back. The IBS is still there but it's controlled thanks to the Bentyl/dicycloverine. If you're in the US you may still be able to get a similar liquid form of Bentyl. I rate it five stars!

Review by Sandra

The doctor finally tried giving me Bentyl. I take two at bedtime and it works on the stomach pain/urgency of my IBS-D and my insomnia. So far so good...it has really helped. I have even taken it when I had ongoing symptoms during the day and it has not failed me yet, which was a huge switch from not being able to leave the house until I knew my stomach would settle down (which wasn't very often). I also started taking Align almost two months ago and I think that has helped me also.

Review by Rita

I have had what is now called IBS for over 40 years. In the beginning I took a pill called Combid. It worked great, but medicine being what it is they soon quit making it or the doctors quit prescribing it. Now I use Bentyl, and let me tell you it sure makes my life easier.

I can drink water and eat plain soda crackers and wind up with cramps. Thanks to Bentyl I can now eat more of a regular diet. True it tends to leave you with a dry mouth, but I drink some extra water, like my doc recommends, or eat sugar-free hard candy and that problem is solved.

As for the sleep effect, it works for me as I have insomnia so Bentyl is a win/win in my book. If you are a first time user of Bentyl, give yourself at least a month before you decide it isn't for you. You may just find you actually have a full active life waiting thanks to Bentyl.

Review by Diane

Until this past February our lives were a mess. My husband had been in and out of hospitals and ERs for the last year years with pains in his stomach that he never was able to handle. We had no life. No-one could figure it out and after many bad experiences with doctors and nurses, one great doctor had the intelligence to suggest and write a script for Bentyl after a painful visit to the ER. He said David had IBS. After all the years of diagnosis of pancreatitis, gastritis and diverticulitis (I never believed any of them) finally someone cared enough to go the extra step. His life has now changed. It's been two solid months of no pain! Nothing! Bentyl was the amazing drug we had prayed for.

Review by Teresa

Bentyl is an amazing drug! I have suffered for years with IBS and my problem is almost always constipation. I used to get such terrible stomach pains and nothing would ease them except going to bed, and then as soon as I'd get up the stomach pains would return. My doctor gave me Bentyl about 15 years ago. I only take it when the pain comes on now and it always takes the pain away before I have to go to bed. What a Godsend! Amazing drug!

Review by Amira

I've had bouts of IBS for years. I feel I can't eat anything most days and had a horrible fear of traveling anywhere. This past summer I started taking a probiotic with two Bentyls daily and it really has changed my life! The Bentyl calms my stomach and the probiotic seems to help the diarrhea part.

Review by Jafafa

I was prescribed Bentyl a few years ago by my PCP, who said it was for diarrhea, though a subsequent PCP said it's really just for cramps. I have taken it for cramps and diarrhea, and I have to say I have never noticed any effect whatsoever, nor any side effects. Seems totally useless...I still take it when I remember to thinking that perhaps it made those particular attacks less severe than they would have been otherwise, but overall I have seen no noticeable effect.

Review by Joe

This medicine does not work for me. In fact my IBS symptoms have not gone away at all, and I'm still running to the bathroom all the time. All I'm feeling is the side effects, and not the relief I should be feeling.

Review by Jennifer

Bentyl seems to help my stomach but it has bad side effects. I have problems trying to sleep and eat and I'm always thirsty. My pupils get really big also. I still take it because it's better than being sick to my stomach all the time. I used to take Levbid and it works great but the company stopped making the product.

Review by Erin

Amazing! I couldn't thank my doctor enough for putting me on Bentyl. It has given me immense relief from the stomach cramping that was leaving me unable to do so many things. Being a mom and military wife, I cannot be down and out due to my IBS...Bentyl has made it possible for me to go back to the family activities I had been forced to give up on. I can go to my kids' baseball and soccer games again without fear and anguish!

Review by Brandy

I have on/off bouts of what is diagnosed as IBS (stomach cramping and aches and indigestion with either constipation or diarrhea). The urgent care doc gave me a script for Bentyl and said it would help move things along. The good thing is, it stops the aching that makes you want to roll up in a ball. I switch between this and Levsin for relief. It does dry you out and make you pretty tired, but sometimes it's worth the side effects to feel better.

Update on Brandy...

My treatments stopped working and I had long bouts of IBS-C (after Maalox, milk of magnesia and magnesium/vitamin c stopped working). I tried my go-to for occasional cramping, Bentyl, which I had only taken on an as-needed basis previously, and moved to more of a daily regime. And it worked! Once again I had daily BMs, no more bloating, no more sensitivity and no more cramping.

I noticed after about a month or so that I was extremely dizzy, a brain zap type of feeling. I was light headed, my eyes had trouble focusing and my heart was skipping beats (palpitations). I was pretty scared and not sure what was happening. I stopped drinking caffeine (which was very hard for me) and tried to watch anything I ate or drank.

I finally narrowed it down to the Bentyl. I checked out some reviews on other sites and found this to be a pretty common side effect of the Bentyl or dicyclomine (generic) which was devastating because this put me back to square one with trying to find another cure. I still use this when the cramping gets horribly bad or when I haven't had a BM in a few days but I cannot tolerate it every day.

Review by Amber

I think Bentyl is the best medicine ever made! My life was a mess before - I even ended up in the hospital. I would get such severe attacks of diarrhea that I couldn't handle it. I couldn't even go out to eat anymore. Now I just take Bentyl half an hour before I eat, usually twice a day, and I'm fine. Before I could never have eaten at a buffet, or at a restaurant more than five minutes from home. If I forget to take it, look out - there better be a bathroom close by. Bentyl has been a lifesaver for me. I can't believe how much of a difference it has made. Thanks Bentyl.

Review by Barbara

I've been on Bentyl now for several years. It has really helped reduce the number of painful stomach attacks. I take two capsules twice a day, but when I feel the stomach pain coming on I increase the dosage and it usually seems to work. Before, I could look forward to full-blown stomach attacks several times a year, but now they are very rare. It also seems to lessen the severity of the attacks that I do still get.

Review by Jennifer

Bentyl has really helped my IBS. I take it four times a day and it's made the tummy pain much easier to handle. I do find that when I miss a dose I can tell within two hours as the pain is back full force. It does seem to make the bathroom trips a little less frequent....instead of going five times an hour, I'm down to three or so an hour. I've had IBS for 10 years and I'll take any help I can get!

Review by Julie

Bentyl definitely helps with the terrible pain associated with attacks. It relaxes your tummy so you don't have the stabbing, aching pain quite so bad. But it doesn't prevent attacks or make the IBS symptoms go away, it just helps once they have gotten out of control. Also, if you take it before a meal, I have noticed that it helps keep me from getting a stomach ache from eating.

For me, the drawback of taking Bentyl is the side effects. It makes me really sleepy, dizzy, and feel really weird! I can't take it when I go to work, when I drive, or when I go out. I only take it when I am going to be at home. I had tried Levsin but that did nothing for me.

Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Bentyl? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.

privacy policy