Levsin vs. Donnatal

Are Levsin and Donnatal the Same Thing?

Levsin (hyoscyamine) and Donnatal (belladonna alkaloids, phenobarbital) are used to treat different stomach and intestinal disorders, including peptic ulcer and irritable bowel syndrome.

Levsin is also used to control muscle spasms in the bladder, kidneys, or digestive tract, and to reduce stomach acid. Levsin is sometimes used to reduce tremors and rigid muscles in people with symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and is also used as a drying agent to control excessive salivation, runny nose, or excessive sweating.

Donnatal is also used to treat acute inflammation of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis) to reduce pain and diarrhea, and in patients with duodenal ulcer.

Both Levsin and Donnatal contain belladonna alkaloids, and Donnatal also contains a barbiturate sedative.

Side effects of Levsin and Donnatal that are similar include dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, headache, trouble sleeping (insomnia), constipation, nausea, vomiting, bloating, changes in taste, problems with urination, impotence, loss of interest in sex, trouble having an orgasm, or decreased sweating.

Side effects of Levsin that are different from Donnatal include nervousness, vision problems, heartburn, flushing, or dry skin.

Side effects of Donnatal that are different from Levsin include weakness, dry eyes, increased sensitivity to light, restlessness, or excitability.

Both Levsin and Donnatal may interact with alcohol or MAO inhibitors.

Levsin may also interact with amantadine, haloperidol, phenothiazines, or antidepressants.

Donnatal may also interact with blood thinners, ketoconazole, bronchodilators, bladder or urinary medications, irritable bowel medications, or hormonal birth control.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Donnatal.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Levsin?

Common side effects of Levsin include:

  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • nervousness,
  • blurred vision,
  • dry mouth,
  • vision problems,
  • headache,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia),
  • constipation,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • bloating,
  • heartburn,
  • changes in taste,
  • problems with urination,
  • impotence,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • trouble having an orgasm,
  • flushing,
  • dry skin, and
  • decreased sweating.

Tell your doctor if you experience unlikely but serious side effects of Levsin including:

  • mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, unusual excitement),
  • fast/irregular heartbeat,
  • loss of coordination, or
  • slurred speech.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Donnatal?

Common side effects of Donnatal include:

  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • weakness,
  • blurred vision,
  • dry eyes,
  • dry mouth,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • abdominal bloating,
  • increased sensitivity to light,
  • decreased taste sensation,
  • decreased sweating or urination,
  • headache,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • restlessness,
  • excitability,
  • impotence,
  • loss of interest in sex, or
  • trouble having an orgasm.

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects of Donnatal including:

  • dry/hot/flushed skin,
  • fast or irregular heartbeat,
  • loss of coordination,
  • slurred speech,
  • fainting,
  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, agitation, unusual excitement, depression, rare thoughts of suicide),
  • difficulty urinating, or
  • slow or shallow breathing.

What Is Levsin?

Levsin (hyoscyamine) is one of the principal anticholinergic/antispasmodic components of belladonna alkaloids used to treat different stomach and intestinal disorders, including peptic ulcer and irritable bowel syndrome. Levsin is also used to control muscle spasms in the bladder, kidneys, or digestive tract, and to reduce stomach acid. Levsin is sometimes used to reduce tremors and rigid muscles in people with symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and is also used as a drying agent to control excessive salivation, runny nose, or excessive sweating. Levsin is available in generic form.

What Is Donnatal?

Donnatal (belladonna alkaloids, phenobarbital) is a combination of an anticholinergic/antispasmodic drug and a barbiturate sedative used to treat abdominal pain, bloating and cramps in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Donnatal is also used to treat acute inflammation of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis) to reduce pain and diarrhea, and in patients with duodenal ulcer. Donnatal is available in generic form.

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What Drugs Interact With Levsin?

Levsin may interact with amantadine, haloperidol, MAO inhibitors, phenothiazines, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Levsin should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Donnatal?

Products that may interact with Donnatal include blood thinners, ketoconazole, MAO inhibitors, bronchodilators, bladder or urinary medications or irritable bowel medications. Hormonal birth control products (pills, patch, ring) may not be effective if taken with Donnatal. Discuss all medications you are taking with your doctor. Donnatal is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. Consult your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Donnatal may cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, muscle twitching, shakiness, dizziness, worsening weakness, nausea, vomiting) if you suddenly stop using it. Withdrawal from phenobarbital can be severe and include seizures or death.

How Should Levsin Be Taken?

Dosage of Levsin for adults and children 12 years of age and older: 1 to 2 tablets every four hours or as needed. Do not exceed 12 tablets in 24 hours. Pediatric patients 2 to under 12 years of age: ½ to 1 tablet every four hours or as needed. Do not exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours.

How Should Donnatal Be Taken?

The dosage of Donnatal is adjusted to individual patients for symptomatic control with minimum adverse reactions. The usual dose is one tablet every 8 or 12 hours as prescribed.

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References

DailyMed. Levsin Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=0918c44e-54f6-47b9-b927-4f1b0b394152&audience=consumer
RedHill Biopharma. Donnatal Prescribing Information.
https://www.redhillbio.com/donnatal

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