Common Medications and Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are several steps you can take in diet and lifestyle changes to alter and improve the frequency and intensity of symptomatic attacks of irritable bowel syndrome.

Alternative therapies to reduce the stress include biofeedback, yoga, deep-breathing exercises, imagery therapy, counseling and Tai Chi.

If these methods are not effective for you, more traditional medications are available to make you more comfortable. While there is no one “magic pill” to relieve IBS chronically, there are treatments to control the symptoms that interfere with every day life like diarrhea, constipation and intense pain.


Drug Category How it works
Antidiarrheals Lessens intestinal movement
Bile Acid Binders Inhibit bile acids from stimulating the colon- slows stool passage and decreases diarrhea incidence
Stool softeners Encourages water absorption by stool for easier passage
Laxatives Promotes bowel movements, lessens constipation
Antispasmodics Relieves cramps and intestinal spasms
Antidepressants Decreases depression

Decreases the intense IBS pain

Anti-anxiety Medications Lessens anxiety to decrease IBS symptoms