Don’t let irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) hold you hostage. Talk to your doctor about a prescription for Bentyl or generic Dicyclomine for long-term management of abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. Some people are able to deal with IBS by changing their diet and being more aware of foods that can trigger symptoms. Women seem to be more likely to have IBS compared to men, possibly due to hormonal changes. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Bentyl (called Bentylol in Canada) is an anticholinergic drug. When taken as directed, Bentyl will work by blocking the effects of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that is released in both the central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS).
Acetylcholine in your PNS acts to control muscular contractions which may become more forceful and prolonged than usual and this can cause diarrhea. If the effects of acetylcholine are prevented, muscles relax and you are able to find relief from the painful cramping and the embarrassing sprint to the bathroom before you have an accident.
The cause or causes of IBS are not written in stone as most reasons for this disorder are only guesses; however there are a number of factors that may play a role. If the layers of muscle that line the intestinal walls contract too much or last longer than usual, you may have gas, become bloated, and have diarrhea. Should the contractions be weak and slow down the passage of food, your stools could be hard and dry and you become constipated. Abnormalities in your gastrointestinal tract or uncoordinated signals between your brain and intestines can also result in diarrhea or constipation.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding as Bentyl may be harmful to your unborn or nursing baby. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies with your doctor and list any OTC or Rx medications you currently take or use, including alternative medicine and naturopathic therapies you take part in so your doctor can determine if Bentyl is right for you.
Bentyl may cause dizziness or light-headedness so refrain from driving and other activities that require you to be steady until you know how your body will react. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications while taking Bentyl without talking to your doctor first. Hot weather, alcohol, and exercise may increase your risk of side effects.