IBS Medications


To inform product research by compiling a comprehensive list of all medications for IBS, including what the medications are and a brief description of how each medication is used.

Early Findings

Initial Findings

  • In order to develop a comprehensive listing of all medication used to treat IBS, the research team identified pre-compiled listings of IBS medications from medical media, hospitals, medical research and other credible sources.
    • The Mayo Clinic currently reports twelve categories of medications used to treat IBS: fiber supplements (e.g., Metamucil), laxatives (e.g., Miralax), anti-diarrheal medications (e.g., Imodium), anticholinergic medications (e.g., Bentyl), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., Tofranil), SSRI antidepressants (e.g., Prozac), pain medications (e.g., Lyrica), alosetron (lotronex), eluxadoline (viberzi), refaximini (xifaxan), bubiprostone (amitiza) and linaclotiede (linzess).
    • WebMD highlights several other medications that have been shown to be effective in addressing IBS and its associated symptoms (e.g., bloating and abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea): probiotics, antispasmodics, bile acid sequestrants, Tenapanor (IBSRELA), Tegaserod, Plecanatide (Trulance) and Polyethylene glycol (PEG).
    • Separately, WebMD recommends additional medications to treat IBS with diarrhea, including simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon).
    • Pharmacy Times published a listing of the newest IBS agents approved by the FDA, which adds lubisprostone to the inventories highlighted by the preceeding resources.
    • Additionally, NIH recommends the use of coated peppermint oil capsules as an alternative medication to be used in conjunction with those discussed by other outlets.
    • Separately, IBS Diets suggests several other medication options for both IBS-D and IBS-C, such as calcium supplements and ispaghula husk.
    • Drugs.com provides perhaps the most comprehensive, single listing of specific medications used to treat IBS, with an inventory of 76 prescription, over the counter and off label drug suggestions.
    • Meanwhile, the IBS medication inventories by other credible resources (e.g., Verywell Health, Medical News Today, Harvard Health Publishing) reiterate those stated by the previously listed resources, suggesting that combined reporting of the preceding outlets is comprehensive.

Proposed next steps:

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The first hour of research identified credible resources that report at least 76 medications that are currently used to treat IBS. We recommend using the lists of IBS medications reported by the resources highlighted within this initial research to develop a comprehensive inventory of all IBS medications. This listing will be provided in a Google Sheets document, and will include the specific medication, any additional brand name information, a 1-2 sentence description of how each medication is used to treat IBS and non-footnoted sources. Given that the most comprehensive single listing of IBS medications (Drugs.com) does not provide most of these details, it is likely the research team will conduct separate research to populate these data points. As such, this listing will be created through four requests of approximately 20 medications or more each. To the extent that the full allotment of research time is not used to populate this initial inventory, the remaining time will be redeployed to identify any newer or lesser-known IBS medications to add to the inventory.
As an alternative, the research team can used the credible resources identified during the first hour of research to populate a list of IBS medications, not including any associated details (e.g., brand names, description of how the medication is used to treat IBS).