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What medications help with IBS?

Avatar Dr. Kyle Bickel Jun 21, 2019

There are a number of treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. There’s a symptom-based treatments, which is if you have abdominal pain, we use pain medications and anti-spasm medications – those are very helpful. There are medications for diarrhea such as antidiarrheals. Constipation medications such as the over the counter ones, but now we have very effective IBS-C, meaning constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome medications that not only help you have a bowel movement, but target the underlying causes of why people get pain and bloating and cramping and those are very effective. Then, antibiotics have been shown to be very helpful in a large subset of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. In particular, those who have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, namely overgrowth of bacteria in their intestines. Medications such as Rifaximin have been very effective in treating patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The last category of medications are antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications in the subset of patients who tend to have a very much stress and anxiety driven nature to their symptoms. In the right population, those medications can be extremely helpful.

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