Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Bile Acid Binding Medicines - Topic Overview
Bile acids, which are normally present in the digestive tract,
stimulate the colon. Bile acid binding agents prevent bile acids from
stimulating the colon, which slows the passage of stools and relieves diarrhea.
It is not common for bile to cause this problem, but if it does, these
medicines can help. They usually are not tried soon after a person is
diagnosed. But if symptoms don't improve with usual treatment, they may be
Bile acid binding agents, such as cholestyramine (such as Prevalite), are
mixed with water and may be taken several times a day.
Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin is manufactured in the brain, where it performs its primary functions, some 90% of our serotonin supply is found in the digestive tract and in blood platelets.
These medicines are usually prescribed to treat high cholesterol.
Side effects include nausea, bloating, gas, feelings of fullness, abdominal
(belly) pain, and constipation. These side effects may be similar to the symptoms that
the medicine is intended to treat.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)