For some people, making simple lifestyle changes can help them to effectively manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). These steps may include:

  • Avoiding food that trigger IBS attacks
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Adding fiber to your diet
  • Eating on a regular schedule
  • Reducing stress

Medications to Treat IBS

If lifestyle changes don’t provide relief from IBS, there are medications that can help you manage the condition. While there is no one “magic pill” to relieve IBS permanently, these drugs can help to control the symptoms that interfere with everyday life like diarrhea, constipation and pain:

  • Antidiarrheals (Immodium): Slows down intestinal movement
  • Bile acid binders (Prevalite, Colestid): Prevents bile acids from stimulating the colon; slows stool passage and decreases diarrhea
  • Stool softeners: Encourages water absorption by stool for easier passage
  • Laxatives: Promotes bowel movements; lessens constipation
  • Antispasmodics (Levsin, Bentyl): Relieves cramps and intestinal spasms
  • Antidepressants: Decreases depression; lessens IBS pain
  • Anti-anxiety medications: Lessens anxiety to decrease IBS symptoms