4 Types of Medication for IBS-D


Diarrhoea-prevalent irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS-D, can cause a huge disruption to your daily life. If dietary changes have not helped to control your diarrhoea, ask your doctor about the following types of medication. Each one helps some people with IBS-D to manage their symptoms, although none of them work for everyone. Your doctor can help you to identify which type of medication is right for you.

1. Anticholinergic Medications

Anticholinergic medications, including loperamide and dicyclomine, slow down the motion of the bowel. As a result, they cause the bowel to process food more slowly, reducing diarrhoea. Anticholinergic medications can also help to reduce painful bowel spasms in some people.

Side effects of this type of medication include constipation and dry mouth. As a result, they are not suitable for people who have both constipation and diarrhoea symptoms.

2. Bile Acid Binders

There are several underlying causes of IBS-D. Some people have problems with their gut bacteria; others produce too much acid or fail to absorb it correctly, and in still other people, the cause is unknown.

If bile acid malabsorption is the cause of your IBS-D, a bile acid–binding medication such as cholestyramine or colestipol can help. This type of medication soaks up excess bile acid, preventing it from irritating the bowel and causing diarrhoea. Side effects can include bloating and reduced absorption of other medications. Be sure to take bile acid binders at a different time of day from other medicines.

3. SSRIs

Although most often used as antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) also help some cases of IBS. Paroxetine, which can cause constipation as a side effect, is the SSRI most often used to help people with IBS-D.

SSRIs can help with anxiety, which is an IBS trigger for many people. It can take a few weeks before you start to feel the benefit, so be patient. Side effects of SSRIs include nausea, weight gain, and lack of interest in sex, but for some people, these side effects fade with time.

4. Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

TCAs are an older class of antidepressants that are not often used to treat depression these days. However, they are often useful in IBS treatment. TCAs slow down bowel motion, which can help to reduce diarrhoea. Sleepiness is a major side effect of this type of medication, so your doctor might suggest that you take it at bedtime instead of in the morning.

To learn more about IBS treatments, contact a doctor.


18 February 2020

Quitting smoking at last

I have tried to quit smoking three times over the last few years, but it never really stuck. My mother just got diagnosed with lung cancer, and it's given me the wakeup call that I have been waiting for. I have quit smoking again, but this time I spoke to my doctor before I started and it's made a lot of difference. He organised some nicotine replacement products and counselling to help me quit for good this time. I have started this blog to let people know how much easier it is to quit when your doctor is helping you.