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Dr Tom Bracewell
Reviewed by Dr Tom BracewellReviewed on 22.05.2023 | 2 minutes read

Colpermin is the brand name of a medication used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The active ingredient is peppermint oil which is the natural extract from peppermint leaves. The medication comes in capsules and is available without a prescription. It is suitable for adults and children aged 15 and above who have been diagnosed with IBS by their doctor.

How does it work?

Peppermint oil acts locally to relax the smooth muscle found in the gut, relieving the spasms and cramps associated with IBS. In turn, this helps relieve abdominal pain, bloating, and trapped wind.

How do I take it?

Colpermin capsules have a coating that prevents them from breaking down and releasing the medication until they reach the end part of the small bowel. Therefore, the capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, not chewed or crushed. This ensures a targeted delivery of the medication to the large bowel where symptoms stem from. Early release of the medication can cause irritation of the mouth and oesophagus.

You should take Colpermin about 30 to 60 minutes before eating. The usual recommended dose is one capsule three times a day. This can be increased to two capsules three times a day if your symptoms are severe. Keep taking the medication until your symptoms improve, which is usually within two weeks. If your symptoms persist longer than two weeks, speak to your doctor.

Avoid taking antacids within two hours (before or after) of taking Colpermin, as they can make the capsules break down earlier than they are supposed to.

Who should avoid it?

As always, do not take the medication if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in it. You should talk to your doctor before taking Colpermin if any of the following apply:

  • It's your first time getting IBS symptoms
  • You are vomiting
  • You have unintended weight loss
  • You are over the age of 40 with new symptoms
  • You have noticed blood in your stool
  • You have recently returned from travelling abroad

Are there any side effects?

Peppermint oil can cause sensitivity reactions, such as a rash, and you should discontinue use if this occurs. Peppermint oil can also cause a burning or tingling feeling in the gastrointestinal mucosa, acid reflux, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. The incidences of these side effects are unknown.

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Dr Tom Bracewell
Reviewed by Dr Tom Bracewell
Reviewed on 22.05.2023
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