Drug IBS: A Free Look At Everything That Works

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an increasingly common digestive disorder. Nearly one in five will experience it at some point in his life, with women being more prone than men. Unfortunately, the cause of IBS is unknown, making it difficult to know which is the best treatment. This article looks at the different forms of IBS drugs currently recommended.

Types and Treatments of IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurrent digestive stress. be classified into three different types based on its symptoms:

  • Dominant Diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • Dominant Constipation (IBS-C)
  • or alternating / mixing diarrhea and constipation (IBS-M).

There are many medications available to help treat these symptoms of IBS. Some may help against diarrhea or constipation, while others treat abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence.

Drug against diarrhea

There are many proven ways to treat chronic diarrhea. most common:

Rifaximin (Xiafaxan)

  • An antibiotic used to treat IBS-D and relieve abdominal pain and flatulence.
  • Seems to be well tolerated in patients, with minimal side effects.
  • Recent studies have shown that 40% of patients who received 2 weeks of treatment with Rifaximin experienced an improvement in their IBS symptoms during the first 4 weeks after treatment.
  • Should be taken before a low FODMAP diet.


  • Helps to relax the colon (large intestine) and prevent diarrhea.
  • is recommended only for women with severe IBS-D, who have not responded to other treatment.
  • There is also a risk of harmful side effects, including ischemic colitis (inflammation of the large intestine) and complications of constipation.
  • In a study that tested different doses of Alosetron, those who took the lowest dose (0.5 mg daily) reported the greatest reduction in symptoms (51%) and fewer symptoms. side effects.

Eluxadoline (Viberzi)

  • Viberzi helps slow the movement of shit through the digestive system.
  • Some people should not take this medicine, including those with a history of pancreatitis, liver complications and / or heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Constipation can be a side effect. There have also been a number of cases in which people have developed pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) after taking Eluxadoline.

Loperamide (Imodium / Gastro-Stop) and Atropine (Lomotil)

  • Anti-diarrheal medications are effective in stopping diarrhea and farting, but do not provide any benefit for relieving abdominal pain or bloating. In fact, they can sometimes cause stomach cramps and pain.
  • There have also been reports of overdose (with very high doses), which can cause cardiac complications.

Drug of Constipation

There are many proven ways to treat chronic constipation, but there are also many medications available to treat IBS-C .:


  • Helps soften stool, making it easier to move.
  • May also help with stomach pain and bloating.
  • High doses may cause nausea and should always be taken with food and water.
  • In a 12-week study, 18% of participants taking Lubiprostone reported improvements in both constipation and abdominal pain.


  • Helps move undigested food (garbage) through the digestive system, making it easier to pass.
  • Relief from constipation occurs in about a week; however, improvement of abdominal pain and bloating can take up to 8 to 12 weeks.
  • High doses can sometimes cause diarrhea.

Stimulant laxatives (senna, aloe, bisacodyl, castor oil)

  • Laxatives are available in pharmacies without a prescription.
  • They help stimulate the intestines in various ways to relieve constipation.
  • Stimulant laxatives do not relieve abdominal pain or discomfort.
  • This type of medication should not be taken long term as it can make the intestine lazy and dependent on laxatives.

Osmotic Laxatives (Macragol, Polyethylene Glycol, Milk of Magnesia)

  • Osmotic laxatives help attract water to the large intestine (intestine), facilitating stool passage.
  • Like stimulant laxatives, they only provide relief from constipation and do not treat abdominal pain or discomfort or bloating. In fact, they can often cause these symptoms.

Abdominal pain and bloating medication

There are many natural ways to manage bloating.

But some drugs can be used to target specific IBS symptoms of abdominal pain and bloating.

These include:

Antispasmodics (Hyoscyamine, Dicyclomin)

  • These help relieve stomach cramps caused by diarrhea or constipation by relaxing the muscles around the abdomen.
  • High doses may result in constipation, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness and blurred vision.

Peppermint oil

  • This is an essential oil extracted from the plant with peppermint.
  • When taken in capsule form, peppermint oil has been shown to be very effective in relieving abdominal pain and bloating.
  • A new formulation of peppermint oil has recently been introduced in the United States and is probably safe. One study showed that 40% of patients taking this formulation had reduced abdominal pain / discomfort and bloating, a significantly higher percentage than patients taking a placebo.

All medicines for IBS symptoms

Some medications can be used to treat many symptoms of IBS rather than targeting a symptom.

These include:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

  • These are generally prescribed as antidepressants, but they have also shown to help move the contents through the digestive system, preventing constipation.
  • Studies have shown that SSRIs should be taken between 4 and 8 weeks before the symptoms improve.
  • Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have found that SSRIs are not better at relieving the symptoms of IBS than a placebo.
  • Side effects may include poor sleep, headache, anxiety, and nausea.

Tricyclic antidepressants (CTEs)

  • This is another group of antidepressants that can help get the contents into the digestive system.
  • One benefit of TCA is that they can also help with abdominal pain and bloating, and improve mood.
  • Several studies have shown that TCAs improve symptoms of IBS compared with placebo.
  • Side effects may include dry mouth and drowsiness.

Non-drug approaches

There are also non-drug approaches for the treatment of IBS:

Peppermint oil

  • As mentioned above, peppermint oil has been shown to be very effective in relieving abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Peppermint oil acts as a muscle relaxant and can act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • A review of a small number of clinical trials found that peppermint oil was significantly better at improving IBS symptoms than placebo.
  • Burning of the heart, dry mouth and burping can be common side effects of peppermint oil intake.


  • IBgard is a new formulation of peppermint oil recently introduced in the United States.
  • Limited studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of IBgard.
  • One study found that patients taking this formulation noticed a 40% reduction in abdominal pain / discomfort and bloating, which was significantly higher than patients who took a placebo (11%). ).
  • IBgard causes side effects like natural peppermint oil.


  • Iberogast is a herbal formulation containing nine herbal extracts.
  • It can relieve the symptoms of IBS by helping to move the contents through the digestive system and reduce abdominal pain.
  • In a study of 282 patients, Iberogast was found to be significantly better at reducing abdominal pain and symptoms of IBS than placebo after a 4-week trial.


  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps keep our stool regular and constipation can occur from a low fiber diet.
  • Some studies suggest that a fiber supplement can improve the symptoms of IBS-C.
  • Soluble fibers, such as psyllium husks, have been shown to be more beneficial than insoluble fibers, such as wheat bran in people with IBS-C.
  • Insoluble fiber can often worsen IBS symptoms, causing bloating, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort (16).
  • In a study of 275 adults with IBS, soluble fiber was significantly more effective than placebo in improving symptoms.
  • The fibers must be introduced slowly into the diet. Increasing the amount of water you drink is also important to prevent constipation.
  • A high-fiber diet also has other health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and can help maintain a healthy weight.

Changes in diet (such as a weak FODMAP approach) and psychological treatments (hypnotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation) should also be taken into account when taking charge of the SCI.

There is also evidence that a probiotic supplement can help relieve symptoms. There are many different types (species, strains, preparations) of probiotics that I have reviewed here.

IBS medications can be a useful part of treatment

IBS is a complicated condition.

There are not only many different causes, but different treatment options available depending on your symptoms and your health.

You should not be afraid to try some IBS medications (on the recommendation of your doctor), but at the same time, do not rely on them as the only form of treatment.

Research shows that medical and non-medical approaches work hand-in-hand to achieve the best treatment outcomes for patients.

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