Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)

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What medications are used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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If dietary modifications do not adequately treat IBS symptoms, your doctor may recommend medical therapies.

Medications to treat IBS

  • Laxatives help relieve constipation and keeps bowel movements regular
  • Anti-diarrheal medications such as loperamide (Imodium), Kaopectate, and diphenoxylate/atropine (Lomotil) if loose stool is one of the main symptoms
  • Antispasmodics, such as metoclopramide (Reglan), dicyclomine (Bentyl) and hyoscyamine (Levsin), decrease symptoms of pain and cramping
  • Antidepressants in low doses, such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may help relieve symptoms associated with IBS
  • Two drugs specifically used to treat IBS are lubiprostone (Amitiza), a laxative, and linaclotide (Linzess), a constipation medication
  • For females with IBS who experience severe diarrhea, alosetron (Lotronex) has been used
  • Antibiotics may be used when small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is suspected
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2014

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