Irritable bowel syndrome

Treatment for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Colofac, Fybogel Mebeverine, Colpermin, Spasmonal, Spasmonal Forte, Buscopan, and Loperamide.

Read medical information and answer medical questions to buy treatment online.

IBS medication

Prices

All medicine supplied is UK licensed.

Buscopan

Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide)

20-200 tablets from £3.95

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Colpermin capsules

Colpermin (peppermint oil 0.2mls)

100-300 caps from £19.50

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Colofac mebeverine

Colofac (mebeverine 135-200mg)

60-200 from £11.30

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Fybogel Mebeverine

Fybogel Mebeverine (+ ispaghula husk)

10-40 sachets from £5.20

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Spasmonal

Spasmonal (alverine 60-120mg)

60-200 caps from £8.95

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Loperamide

Loperamide (2mg)

30-60 caps from £5.50

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Prices

IBS treatmentQuantityCost
Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) 10mg20 tablets£3.95
Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) 10mg40 tablets£7.75
Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) 10mg100 tablets£11.95
Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) 10mg200 tablets£17.50
Colpermin capsules (peppermint oil 0.2mls)100 capsules£19.50
Colpermin capsules (peppermint oil 0.2mls)200 capsules£35.80
Colpermin capsules (peppermint oil 0.2mls)300 capsules£49.40
Colofac (mebeverine 135mg)100 sugar-coated tablets£12.10
Colofac (mebeverine 135mg)200 sugar-coated tablets£21.40
Colofac MR (mebeverine 200mg)60 slow release capsules£11.30
Colofac MR (mebeverine 200mg)120 slow release capsules£18.10
Fybogel Mebeverine (mebeverine 135mg + ispaghula husk 3.5g)10 sachets (orange flavour)£5.20
Fybogel Mebeverine (mebeverine 135mg + ispaghula husk 3.5g)20 sachets (orange flavour)£9.40
Fybogel Mebeverine (mebeverine 135mg + ispaghula husk 3.5g)40 sachets (orange flavour)£18.70
Alverine 60mg (generic Spasmonal)100 capsules£8.95
Alverine 60mg (generic Spasmonal)200 capsules£14.35
Alverine 120mg (generic Spasmonal)60 capsules£11.75
Alverine 120mg (generic Spasmonal)120 capsules£19.95
Spasmonal (alverine) 60mg100 capsules£22.45
Spasmonal (alverine) 60mg200 capsules£43.30
Spasmonal Forte (alverine) 120mg60 capsules£25.45
Spasmonal Forte (alverine) 120mg120 capsules£48.50
Loperamide 2mg30 capsules£5.50
Loperamide 2mg60 capsules£7.25

Prescription issued online - small prescription fee applies to some items.

Prescription fees

Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.

Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.

Order valuePrescription fee
up to £10£1.00
up to £20£2.00
up to £40£3.00
over £40£4.00

If you have your own private or NHS paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).

Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.

Delivery charges

UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).

Parcel forwarding services are not permitted. Use only UK home or work delivery address.

Returns and refunds - unwanted items can be returned within 14 working days for a full refund.

Medical information

Written and reviewed by a team of doctors. Dr Fox is regulated by the CQC & GPhC.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common intestinal upset, affecting 1-2 in every 10 people. IBS is not dangerous in any way, but it can be uncomfortable, unpleasant, and distressing.

IBS symptoms vary from one person to another. Symptoms can include vague abdominal discomfort, a sense of fullness sometimes called bloating, spasm-like pain in the tummy that comes in waves, constipation in some, and loose motions or diarrhoea in others.

There can be other symptoms as well including mucous (slime) from the back passage (but not blood), feeling sick, backache, tiredness, and urinary symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are intermittent. They come and go.

Symptoms may be present for a few days at a time, or a week, or longer. They usually settle down completely between flare-ups only to come back later. In some people Irritable bowel syndrome is triggered in by stress. Some people can identify particular foods associated with a flare-up of their symptoms.

IBS symptoms may be anything from occasional and mild through to severe distressing and incapacitating. The pain can be severe and very real.

For more information see NHS - Irritable bowel syndrome.

Causes of IBS

There is no single known cause for IBS. People with IBS seem to have developed more sensitive nerves in their bowel. There may also be links with too fast or too slow passage of food through the bowel, gut microbes, the immune system, stress, and a genetic effect as often other family members also suffer with IBS.

Caution with self-diagnosis and treatment

IBS has certain recognisable features that help to confirm the diagnosis:

  • People usually have IBS on and off for many years, and a diagnosis should only be made after at least 6 months of symptoms.
  • IBS usually starts in your 20-30s.
  • The pattern of symptoms of IBS are usually similar from one flare-up to the next.
  • People with IBS are usually perfectly well and symptom free between flare-ups.

Symptoms to report to your GP

Where self-treatment is not recommended:

  • Weight loss (people with IBS usually do not lose weight).
  • Constant pain or increasing pain in one spot (the pain of IBS usually comes and goes during a flare up and disappears completely between flare ups).
  • Worsening constipation suggesting a blockage of the bowel.
  • New symptoms of blood in the motions (stools). IBS can cause diarrhoea but not blood in the stool.
  • Symptoms starting in people over 40 (IBS usually starts early in life although it may be a life-long complaint).
  • Women with new symptoms of IBS especially bloating, feeling full, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, urinary symptoms (early symptoms of ovarian cancer can be confused with IBS).
  • Nausea or loss of appetite.
  • Pale and tired.
  • Running a high temperature (fever).
  • Recent travel abroad (possible tropical bowel disease).
  • IBS symptoms in pregnancy.

If in doubt please see a GP and do not self-treat.

Treatment available

Dr Fox supplies a range of medicines which reduce bowel spasm, bloating, pain, and diarrhoea associated with IBS. Details are listed below, and a table comparing treatments is available in the FAQs - Which is the best IBS medication?

Significant side effects from IBS medications are rare.


Buscopan

Contains hyoscine butylbromide which relieves gut spasms.


Colofac

Contains mebeverine, an antispasmodic.

  • Colofac 135mg (sugar-coated): take 1 capsule 3 times daily before meals.
  • Colofac MR 200mg (slow release): take 1 capsule twice daily.
  • Possible side effects: can very rarely trigger an allergic reaction.
  • See also Colofac page and manufacturer's patient leaflet for Colofac 135mg and Colofac MR 200mg.

Fybogel Mebeverine

Contains mebeverine (antispasmodic) plus soluble fibre (isphagula husk) which helps with constipation. For some people this works better than Colofac on its own.

  • Fybogel Mebeverine 135mg + ispaghula husk 3.5g (orange-flavour): take 1 sachet 2-3 times daily with plenty of water to prevent the fibre bulking too much and causing a bowel blockage.
  • Possible side effects: can very rarely trigger an allergic reaction. Contains aspartame.
  • See also Fybogel Mebeverine page and manufacturer's patient leaflet.

Colpermin

Contains the natural soothing ingredient peppermint oil. Also contains peanut oil.

  • Colpermin (peppermint oil 0.2mls): take 1-2 capsules 3 times daily.
  • Possible side effects: can cause heartburn, soreness around the anus, and mouth soreness if the tablets are chewed (should be swallowed whole).
  • See also Colpermin page and manufacturer's patient leaflet.

Spasmonal

Contains contains alverine, an antispasmodic. Lower cost generic version also available.

  • Spasmonal (alverine 60mg): take 1-2 capsules 3 times daily before meals.
  • Spasmonal Forte (alverine 120mg): take 1 capsule 3 times daily before meals.
  • Possible side effects: can very rarely trigger an allergic reaction; linked to liver inflammation and altered liver tests on rare occasions.
  • See also Spasmonal page and manufacturer's patient leaflet for Spasmonal 60mg and Spasmonal Forte 120mg.

Loperamide

Works to slow bowel spasms and reduce diarrhoea.


What else can I try?

Other things that help in some people but not others are: eating more fibre, eating less fibre, avoiding foods that seem to be associated with a flare-up, trying to reduce stress, drinking plenty (minimum of 1.5L/day), regular exercise, and possibly for some people probiotics.

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Dr Fox supplies irritable bowel syndrome medication on prescription - you are required to answer a short medical questionnaire before your order can be completed.

Dr Tony Steele

Authored 07 March 2010 by Dr Tony Steele
MB ChB Sheffield University 1983. Former hospital doctor and GP.

Reviewed by Dr Amanda Wood, Dr C. Pugh, Dr B. Babor, Dr P. Hunt
Last reviewed 28 January 2022
Last updated 22 February 2022

References

  1. Medical questions
  2. Choose treatment
  3. Complete order

Answer medical questions to order(irritable bowel syndrome)

Have you read the IBS medical information?

Please read irritable bowel syndrome medical information.

Are you allergic to the treatment you are planning to order?

  • Colofac and Fybogel Mebeverine contains mebeverine (allergy may be shared with alverine)
  • Spasmonal contains alverine (allergy may be shared with mebeverine)
  • Colpermin contains peppermint, peanut, and soya protein
  • Some long term users of ispaghula (in Fybogel) develop an allergy to it
  • Buscopan contains hyoscine

Have your IBS symptoms started for the first time in the last 2 years?

Have your IBS symptoms started for the first time after the age of 40?

Have you or anyone around you noticed weight loss not due to dieting?

Have your IBS symptoms changed from the ones you are used to?

Have you noticed new blood in your motions (stools)?

Are you aware that only one antispasmodic should be used at a time?

Mebeverine and alverine are antispasmodics.

Do you have slow/weak bowel muscles, tendency to spastic colon or paralytic ileus, narrowing, stoppage, or blockages in the gut?

Do you have the condition Phenylketonuria?

Have you been diagnosed with liver disease or ulcerative colitis?

Do you have any of the following conditions?

  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Glaucoma
  • Serious gastrointestinal disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Palpitations or heart disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Bladder or bowel obstruction
  • Are over 60
  • Treatment for severe sweating

Are you taking the following medication?

  • Ritonavir (for HIV)
  • Itraconazole or ketoconazole (for fungal infections)
  • Gemfibrozil (for high cholesterol)

These cannot be taken together with loperamide.

Are you taking any of these medications:

  • Tricyclic or tetracyclic antidepressants (older type antidepressants)
  • Antihistamines
  • Antipsychotics (for severe mental illness) medication e.g. haloperidol, fluphenazine
  • Salbutamol (Ventolin), tiotropium, ipratropium, trospium (for asthma or COPD)
  • Amantadine (Parkinson's disease, flu)
  • Metoclopramide and domperidone (for nausea and vomiting)
  • Linezolid (a specialist antibiotic - used very rarely)
  • Disopyramide (to control the heart rhythm)

Are you aware that overuse of loperamide can lead to constipation or bowel obstruction?

Loperamide can cause constipation.

Are you aware loperamide can sometimes cause drowsiness or dizziness?

Caution needed if driving, cycling, or operating machinery.

Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?

Do you have any further medical information or questions?

Is there anything you do not understand or do you need further help?

Do the following apply to you?

  • The medication is for my own use and I will not share with anyone else
  • I will read the information leaflet supplied with the medication
  • I am over 18 and I agree to identity verification checks
  • I have completed this questionnaire myself and fully understand all the information
  • My responses are honest and accurate, and I understand that this is necessary for a safe medical assessment
  • I agree to the terms & conditions, privacy policy, & data sharing policy

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