Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
In this Article
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) facts
- What irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes and risk factors?
- What are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and signs?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatments?
- IBS medications
- Is there an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diet?
- What lifestyle changes may help IBS symptoms and signs?
- Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?
- What types of doctors treat IBS?
- Is it possible to prevent IBS?
- What are potential complications of IBS?
- What is the prognosis for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatments?
Dietary modifications are the first treatment that should be tried to treat IBS. There are several types of foods in particular that often trigger IBS symptoms and signs (read IBS diet).
If dietary modifications and lifestyle changes do not adequately treat IBS symptoms and signs, a doctor may recommend medical therapies.
- Over-the-counter laxatives such as polyethylene glycol 3350 (MiraLAX), bisacodyl (Dulcolax), and psyllium seed husks (Metamucil) can help relieve constipation and keep bowel movements regular. Senna laxatives (Senokot, Ex-Lax Gentle Nature) may be taken short-term. Prescription laxatives such as lactulose (Constulose) may also be prescribed.
- Antidiarrheal medications such as loperamide (Imodium), attapulgite (Kaopectate), and diphenoxylate and atropine (Lomotil) can be helpful if loose stools is one of the main signs. Eluxadoline (Viberzi) is a prescription for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D).
- 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.
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) and magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia) are over-the-counter medications that may help.
- 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.
- Rifaximin (Xifaxan) is an antibiotic for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) and IBS-related bloating.
- Bile acid binders including cholestyramine (Prevalite), colestipol (Colestid), or colesevelam (Welchol) can help some patients with IBS but can also cause bloating.
- Antibiotics may be used when small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is suspected.
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Paregoric), doxepin (Silenor), desipramine (Norpramin), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and imipramine (Tofranil) may help with abdominal pain but due to side effects are usually reserved for severe cases.
- SSRI antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and escitalopram (Lexapro) can trigger IBS attacks in patients with diarrhea (IBS-D), but they may be helpful for those with constipation (IBS-C).
- Antianxiety medications such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin) are occasionally prescribed short-term for people whose anxiety worsens their irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
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