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Will my doctor recommend antidepressants to treat my IBS-D?

ANSWER

If your doctor recommends antidepressants, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are depressed. These drugs can help with belly pain from IBS. Low doses of them can help block pain signals to your brain.

For people with IBS-D, doctors may recommend a low dose of a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline, imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor).

If you have depression along with IBS, your doctor may recommend another type of antidepressant called an SSRI. These can include citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil).

Be sure to let your doctor know if your symptoms of IBS-D get worse while you’re taking any of these medicines.

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, Bethesda, MD.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable bowel syndrome." 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 8, 2020

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, Bethesda, MD.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable bowel syndrome." 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 8, 2020

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What should you do to treat IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)?

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