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What medications can I take to help cramping that comes from my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

ANSWER

You might hear your doctor call meds to combat cramping "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.

From: How to Manage Your IBS-D WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: “Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

Wolters Kluwer Health: “Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics).”

Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) fact sheet.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidiarrheal Agents.”

US National Library of Medicine: “Diphenoxylate.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Anticholinergic/Antispasmodic Agents.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidepressant Medications.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Lotronex.”

Prometheus Therapeutics and Diagnostics, “Lotronix.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Eluxadoline.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Rifaximin.”

Salix Pharmaceuticals, “About Xifaxan.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for IBS.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Relaxation Techniques to Manage IBS Symptoms.”

Ruth Geller, mindfulness meditation instructor, Central Islip, NY

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “6 Tips: IBS and Complementary Health Practices.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: In Depth.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on February 25, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: “Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

Wolters Kluwer Health: “Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics).”

Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) fact sheet.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidiarrheal Agents.”

US National Library of Medicine: “Diphenoxylate.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Anticholinergic/Antispasmodic Agents.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidepressant Medications.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Lotronex.”

Prometheus Therapeutics and Diagnostics, “Lotronix.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Eluxadoline.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Rifaximin.”

Salix Pharmaceuticals, “About Xifaxan.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for IBS.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Relaxation Techniques to Manage IBS Symptoms.”

Ruth Geller, mindfulness meditation instructor, Central Islip, NY

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “6 Tips: IBS and Complementary Health Practices.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: In Depth.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on February 25, 2018

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How can low-dose antidepressants help treat my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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