What Medications Are Used to Treat IBS?

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Medications commonly used for IBS symptoms include:
  • Fiber supplements and occasional use of laxatives (for constipation)
  • Antispasmodics -- drugs that control colon muscle spasms and help with diarrhea and pain
  • Tranquilizers and antidepressants to help with stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Alosetron (Lotronex) -- a drug called a nerve receptor antagonist, only for those with diarrhea-predominant IBS
This drug has severe potential side effects and was removed from the market for awhile. It is now prescribed only by gastroenterologists.
  • Lubiprostone (Amitiza) --
A medicine for patients over age 18 who have severe constipation resistant to all other therapies; it increases fluid secretion in the small intestine to make stool passage easier. Side effects can include diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.
  • Linaclotide (Linzess) --
A capsule taken once daily on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day; Linzess helps relieve constipation by helping bowel movements occur more often. The drug should not be taken by those ages 17 and younger. The most common side effect is diarrhea. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for use of all medicines. Some IBS drugs, including laxatives, can be habit-forming, and all drugs have side effects. Keywords: ibs medication; medication ibs; medications irritable bowel syndrome.