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Constipation in Adults

Prescription medicines that may help an irritable bowel

In addition to laxative medicines (discussion will come later), several medicines may help:

  • Medicines in the tricyclic class include amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), or desipramine (Norpramin). These medicines can be quite helpful because they decrease nerve sensitivity. People with IBS who are treated with tricyclic medicine be useful for your symptoms are about four times as likely to report improvement in symptoms¬†as are people who are treated without medicine.

  • Tegaserod (Zelnorm) has been recently developed and marketed specifically for constipation due to irritable bowel. This drug appears to have only a limited benefit for symptoms. Long-term side effects have not been studied.

  • Antispasmodics could worsen your constipation. They can help at times when you have cramps or diarrhea as your main symptoms of IBS. These medicines reduce the strength of contractions (peristalsis) in the colon. Preparations include dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Donnatol, Levsin, NuLev) and calcium channel blockers (Diltiazem and others).

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