Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that affects about
Those with IBS often experience:
- abdominal pain
- bowel spasms
There’s no cure for IBS yet, but dietary changes and improved lifestyle habits can help manage it.
A variety of medications may also help with symptoms.
Bentyl is one drug that’s used to manage IBS. Bentyl reduces muscle spasms in your gut and may help improve cramping and pain related to these spasms.
In this article, we’ll look at how Bentyl targets IBS symptoms. We’ll also look at the effectiveness and potential side effects of this medication.
Bentyl is the brand name of the drug dicyclomine. It was first approved for the treatment of peptic ulcer disease in
It’s also used to treat a variety of other conditions, such as morning sickness and intestinal hypermotility.
Bentyl is an anticholinergic drug. This means it blocks the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
You can take Bentyl orally as a liquid, tablet, or capsule. Most labels say to take it four times a day around the same time each day.
Take the recommended amount unless your doctor says otherwise. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of about 20 milligrams (mg) per day before gradually increasing it.
Bentyl is used to relieve muscle spasms caused by IBS and other symptoms related to these spasms.
The muscles around your colon normally contract to pass feces through your digestive tract. These muscle contractions are usually barely noticeable.
However, people with IBS often experience painful and frequent muscle spasms that cause pain and cramping.
Bentyl can be used as either a short- or long-term treatment option for IBS. It usually helps improve symptoms within hours of taking it. Your doctor may recommend taking Bentyl along with other treatment methods.
There’s limited clinical evidence examining the effectiveness of Bentyl for IBS.
The researchers found that the participants had less abdominal pain and better bowel movements after taking dicyclomine. However, the majority of the participants also had side effects due to the drug blocking activity of acetylcholine.
In rare cases, some people may develop a severe allergic reaction after taking Bentyl. Those symptoms may include:
- trouble breathing
- facial swelling
If you have any known medication allergies, it’s a good idea to alert your doctor before taking Bentyl.
The anticholinergic effects of Bentyl may cause several other unwanted side effects, such as a reduced ability to sweat and drowsiness.
It’s a good idea to find out how Bentyl affects you before driving while taking it. Taking Bentyl with alcohol may increase its drowsiness-inducing effects.
Bentyl has the potential to be addictive. However, Bentyl misuse is rare. One
Other potential side effects of Bentyl or signs of overdose include:
- difficulty swallowing
- dry mouth
- dry skin
- dilated pupils
- blurry vision
- stomach discomfort
Bentyl isn’t suitable for people younger than 18 or adults older than 65. It’s also not suitable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding due to a lack of human research.
There’s no current cure for IBS, but there are a number of treatment options besides Bentyl.
If you have IBS, it’s important to discuss treatment options with a doctor to find the best way to reduce your symptoms.
Here are some of the other treatment options that may be used to manage IBS:
- Other IBS medications. The FDA has approved several other medications for IBS, including Lotronex, Viberzi, Amitiza, Xifaxan, and Linzess.
- Medications for symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend taking specific medications to target certain symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhea.
- Reducing stress. Symptoms of IBS often flare up during periods of
anxiety or psychological stressdue to feedback from your autonomic nervous system.
- Diet. Certain foods may trigger IBS symptoms. Some people find it helpful to avoid certain vegetables or follow a low FODMAP diet.
- Probiotics. A
2013 reviewfound that certain strands of probiotics may help some people manage IBS, but more high-quality research is needed.
- Sleep. Getting adequate rest may help you manage IBS symptoms by helping you manage stress.
- Exercise. Regular exercise helps you deal with stress and may help stimulate normal contractions in your gut.
- Relax. Spending more time during relaxing activities may help you reduce your symptoms of IBS.
Bentyl is a drug that blocks the activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It may help reduce painful muscle spasms in your gut caused by IBS.
Bentyl has the potential to cause side effects, such as hallucinations or drowsiness.
If you’re currently living with IBS, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about potential treatment options that might be right for you.
Many people find making lifestyle adjustments, like reducing stress, exercising more, and avoiding trigger foods, helps them manage their symptoms.