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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 3 minutes read

Mebeverine is a type of medication called an antispasmodic. It can be used to treat stomach cramps associated with diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It may also be prescribed by your doctor to treat stomach cramps of other causes.

It is available in a standard release form and a long release form capsule, however, only the standard release capsule is available to purchase without a prescription. It can be known by the brand name, Colofac®. Mebeverine is also available in combination with ispaghula husk (Fybogel Mebeverine), to treat constipation and cramps in IBS.

Who is it for?

Colofac can be used for self-treatment of spasms or cramps in adults (aged 18 and over), with a previous diagnosis of IBS. It is taken up to 3 times daily, at least 20 minutes before meals. Fybogel Mebeverine (ispaghula husk and mebeverine) can be used to treat constipation and cramps in IBS in children and adults aged 12 and over. It is mixed with water before consumption. If symptoms still worsen or persist after 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.

How does it work?

Mebeverine directly relaxes the smooth muscle in the gut, easing the pain from spasms or cramps. It should be taken at least 20 minutes before meals; this is so mebeverine can reach the lower gut where it acts sooner. Taking mebeverine alongside food/meals can slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines.

Mebeverine is also available as a modified or prolonged release form. This means the effects of mebeverine last longer because the capsule will slowly release the medication over a period of time rather than all at once. The prolonged-release form should only be taken up to 2 times a day with a full glass of water, morning and evening.

Fybogel Mebeverine also contains isphagula husk, which is a type of bulk-forming laxative that stimulates the movement of the bowels to pass stool. This helps to relieve constipation in IBS, in addition to cramps.

Pharmacist recommended products

Should anybody not take it?

You should avoid mebeverine if you have any allergic sensitivity to it or any other ingredients found on the back of the box. If any of the following apply, you should talk to your doctor first:

  • this is the first time you are experiencing IBS symptoms
  • you are vomiting
  • you have lost a lot of weight unintentionally
  • you are over the age of 40 with new sudden symptoms
  • you have noticed blood in your stool
  • you have recently returned from foreign travel

You should avoid the use of Fybogel Mebeverine if you have a condition called paralytic ileus, have had constipation for the last 3 days, or are on medication that can slow down your gut such as opioids. Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you are not sure.

Are there any side effects?

Mebeverine may cause sensitivity reactions such as a rash, or itchy skin. Discontinue use if this occurs. Fybogel Mebeverine may cause bloating of flatulence.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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