Antidepressants are used to treat depression, anxiety, or both by correcting imbalances in brain chemistry. For people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), doses much lower than those usually used to treat depression can help relieve symptoms of IBS such as pain, bloating, and feeling like you are unable to pass a stool.1
They may be used to treat chronic, unremitting abdominal pain that interferes with your daily activities. Here are some examples of antidepressants used to treat IBS. Your doctor may give you one that is not in this list.
For people who have IBS along with depression and anxiety, these medicines may be used in doses that are usually used to treat depression or anxiety. Some antidepressants may worsen constipation. Others may worsen diarrhea. You may start to feel better within 1 to 3 weeks of taking antidepressant medicine. But it can take as many as 6 to 8 weeks to see more improvement. If you have questions or concerns about your medicines, or if you do not notice any improvement by 3 weeks, talk to your doctor. See the topic Depression for more information.
Advisories. Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued:
See Drug Reference for more information about these medicines. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||July 14, 2010|
Last Revised: April 14, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
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