Specific IBS Drugs
There are certain medications available specifically for treating IBS, although they are only approved for specific situations. They include:
Alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex®) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women with severe IBS who have not responded to conventional therapy and whose primary symptom is diarrhea. However, even in these women, it should be used with caution because it can have serious side effects, such as severe constipation or decreased blood flow to the colon.
Lubiprostone is approved to treat women with IBS and severe constipation who have not responded to other treatments. It works by activating chloride channels in the intestine. This helps stimulate the flow of intestinal fluid, which, in turn, stimulates the movement of food through the intestines.
(Click Amitiza to read more about this medicine, including how effective it is and possible side effects.)
Natural IBS MedicationsThere are also many other medications available to treat the symptoms of IBS. Probiotics and peppermint oil are two natural remedies that are popular in the treatment of IBS. However, because both over-the-counter and herbal medications can be harmful in some cases, and can interact with other medications, you should talk with your healthcare provider and/or pharmacist before considering any additional medication to treat your condition.
There is a risk for side effects when taking any medication. If your healthcare provider decides that medications are appropriate for your condition, you can ask him or her about the specific side effects you should be aware of. Also, make sure to follow the instructions your healthcare provider and pharmacist give you for taking your IBS medication.