First, your doctor will likely suggest changes to your diet to see if your symptoms get better. Medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, can also help.
Stress often makes IBS-D worse, so it's important to find healthy ways to manage the tension in your life, too.
Which Medications Can Help Me Feel Better?
You and your doctor can choose the right ones based on your symptoms and how bad they make you feel.
Meds to help cramping. You might hear your doctor call these "anticholinergic and antispasmodic drugs." She’s talking about prescription meds like dicyclomine (Bentyl) and hyoscyamine (Levsin), which lessen bad cramping and unusual colon contractions.
They may help more if you take them before you have symptoms. For instance, if you usually have pain or diarrhea after eating, it’s probably better to take them before a meal.
Low-dose antidepressants. If your doctor prescribes these, you may wonder how they could help you. Some may work because they weaken pain signals your gut sends to your brain. They can also improve diarrhea by slowing the flow of food through your stomach and intestines.
Anti-anxiety drugs. Your doctor might prescribe these if anxiety triggers your symptoms. Clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan) can help take the edge off. Usually they’re not used for a long time because of the risk of addiction.
Other prescription medicines. Three other options work in different ways to improve both diarrhea and belly pain in adults.
Alosetron (Lotronex)works by blocking messages from the gut to the brain. It’s used only in women with very bad IBS-D when other medicines don’t work. It can cause serious side effects and should only be considered if your diarrhea makes it impossible to lead a normal life.