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IBS

Mebeverine Or Buscopan: Comparing The Popular IBS Treatments

by Mr Steve Stoddart (BPharm IP)

Steve is an expert clinical pharmacist that has recently added prescribing to his repertoire.

Deciding between different IBS treatments can be difficult. There are a variety of different treatments available to help treat irritable bowel syndrome, which includes antispasmodics, laxatives, antimotility medicines and low-dose antidepressants. Of these, Mebeverine and Buscopan are two of the most popular and effective. But should you choose Mebeverine or Buscopan to treat your condition?

It can be hard to research different medicines to treat a condition — there is a lot of information available on the internet, and it can be tricky to establish which sites are trustworthy and contain useful information. 

That’s why we’ve created this Mebeverine vs Buscopan guide. Our intention is to help you understand the difference between these two IBS treatments, so that you can make an informed decision. 

We’ll be covering questions like ‘can you take Mebeverine and Buscopan together?’ and ‘is Mebeverine the same as Buscopan?’. We’ve also included a comparison table so that you can easily distinguish the difference between the two.

To find out more about Mebeverine generally and find answers to questions such as ‘can you take Mebeverine long term?’, visit our Mebeverine uses page.

 

Mebeverine or Buscopan

If you’re trying to decide between different IBS treatments such Mebeverine or Buscopan, it can be hard to establish which one is the best option for you.

There is no right or wrong answer — everyone has an individual response to medicines, and users may find that some treatments work better for them than others. Often it can be a case of trying out a few options to figure out which is most suitable for you personally. 

However, it’s very useful to get a quick overview of each treatment, which is why we’ve created the Mebeverine vs Buscopan comparison table below:

 

Mebeverine vs Buscopan: a comparison

 

Mebeverine 

Buscopan 

Condition treated

IBS, as well as other stomach and intestinal conditions such as chronic irritable colon, spastic constipation, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis

IBS, as well as bladder cramps and period pain

Active ingredient(s)

Mebeverine hydrochloride

Hyoscine butylbromide

Dose

135mg of mebeverine hydrochloride

10mg of hyoscine butylbromide

Price

1 x 100 tablets for £19.99

or 2 x 100 tablets for £35.98

1 x 20 tablets for £3.79

Or 2 x 20 tablets for £7.58

Formulation

Tablets (slow-release capsules, liquid or powder are available too)

Tablets (it may also be given by injection, but this is usually only done in hospital)

Side effects

Mild allergic reactions, bloating, dry mouth, heartburn, dizziness

Dry mouth, outbreaks of sweat, dryness of the skin

Available over the counter?

No

Yes (in packs of 20), larger packs are prescription-only

Available from The Independent Pharmacy?

Yes

Yes

Hopefully, the answers above should give you a clearer overview of each IBS medicine so that when you’re deciding whether to buy Buscopan or Mebeverine, you know a little bit more. 

 

Mebeverine vs Buscopan: how long does each treatment take to work?

Both Mebeverine and Buscopan are effective and fast-acting IBS treatments. They both work to relieve painful IBS symptoms such as cramping and spasms quickly.

However, there is a slight difference in how long each treatment takes to work.

Mebeverine starts to work after one hour. You should feel better one to three hours after taking Mebeverine tablets. 

In comparison, Buscopan works very quickly, easing painful cramps within 15 minutes of taking the medicine.

 

Mebeverine vs Buscopan: what are the side effects of each treatment?

With all medicines, there is always a risk that you may encounter side effects. Regardless of whether you are using Mebeverine or Buscopan (or any other IBS treatment), there is a small chance that side effects may occur. 

With both Mebeverine and Buscopan, most people have very positive experiences and do not get any side effects. However, it’s worthing finding out about the possible side effects that you may experience with either medicine.

Mebeverine side effects tend to be mild and pass quickly. The most common side effects of Mebeverine are:

  • Mild allergic reactions such as skin irritation
  • Bloating
  • A dry mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness

The most common adverse effects that Mebeverine users experience is inflamed skin or a mild, itchy rash. This is a mild allergic reaction and usually isn’t serious. You can take an antihistamine to ease allergic reactions if you need to.

You can read about this topic in more detail on our Mebeverine side effects page.

Buscopan side effects also tend to be mild and minor. Most people have no side effects at all. These are the most common Buscopan side effects:

  • A dry mouth
  • Constipation 
  • Blurred vision
  • Fast heart rate
  • Outbreaks of sweat
  • Dryness of the skin

Despite being the most common Buscopan side effects, these still only affect fewer than one in 100 users.

You can find out more about these side effects and more on the Buscopan treatment page.

If you are concerned about the effects from either medicine, or if they affect you in any other way, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They will be able to advise you further.

 

Mebeverine vs Buscopan dosage amounts

As you can see in the comparison table above, the dosages of Mebeverine and Buscopan are very different.

This is because they contain different active ingredients. The active ingredient in Mebeverine tablets is mebeverine hydrochloride, and the active ingredient in Buscopan is hyoscine butylbromide.

Mebeverine tablets contain 135mg of mebeverine hydrochloride. You should take one 135mg tablet up to three times a day. Ideally, Mebeverine should be taken roughly 20 minutes before each main meal and swallowed whole with lots of water.

To find out more about the correct doses of this medicine and how to take it, visit our Mebeverine dosage page. 

Buscopan tablets contain 10mg of hyoscine butylbromide. To treat IBS with Buscopan, you should take one 10mg tablet three times a day. You can increase this to two tablets taken four times a day if your symptoms do not improve.

It is important that whichever IBS medicine you choose — whether Mebeverine or Buscopan — that you take it only as your doctor or pharmacist tells you. We do not recommend taking either treatment more than is suggested. 

If you are worried that you have taken too much of either medicine, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

 

Is Mebeverine the same as Buscopan?

Mebeverine is not the same as Buscopan.

Although both are IBS medicines used to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, they are different medicines.

Mebeverine tablets contain the active ingredient mebeverine hydrochloride, whereas Buscopan contains the active ingredient hyoscine butylbromide.

However, both of these active ingredients are antispasmodics — a type of medicine which acts as a smooth muscle relaxant, relaxing the muscles in the wall of the gut and intestines. This helps to control the cramps and spasms in the stomach and intestines which are associated with IBS.

So, although the two medications are different, they do work in the same way to alleviate IBS symptoms.

 

Can you take Mebeverine and Buscopan together?

No, you cannot take Mebeverine and Buscopan together.

Although they are different medicines with different ingredients, they still work in the same way to treat and relieve IBS symptoms. Both are antispasmodics, so both will relax the muscles in the stomach and intestines.

As a result, it is not recommended that you take Buscopan at the same time as Mebeverine. You are unlikely to get any extra relief from your symptoms or feel any further benefits by doubling up on medicines — and by taking both Mebeverine and Buscopan together, you may inadvertently cause more side effects and cause yourself harm. 

Whether you decide on Mebeverine or Buscopan, stick to one IBS treatment at a time.

 

Summary

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there are lots of different treatment options to choose from, including Mebeverine and Buscopan.

Deciding whether to use Mebeverine or Buscopan to treat your condition can be hard. Both are fast-acting tablets that treat IBS symptoms safely and effectively. 

Both contain antispasmodic medicines as their active ingredient, which works on the muscles in the walls of the gut and intestine to ease cramps and spasms. However, each medicine contains a slightly different antispasmodic — in the case of Mebeverine, this is mebeverine hydrochloride, whereas Buscopan contains hyoscine butylbromide.

Both come in tablet form at a similar price, and both have minimal and mild side effects.

It’s up to you which you use — everyone has an individual response to medicines. You may find that one of these treatments works better for you than the other, but there is no right or wrong answer.

If you would like to speak to a medical professional for further advice, you can chat to one of our fully qualified medical prescribers who will be more than happy to help.

If you are interested in buying Mebeverine tablets from The Independent Pharmacy, you can do so on the treatment page. 

Simply complete the free online consultation form and we will be able to process your order ready for delivery as quickly as the next working day.

 

Sources

Authored By:

A photo of  Steve Stoddart

Steve Stoddart

BPharm IP

Published on: 14-10-2020

Last modified on: 14-10-2020


Steve is an expert clinical pharmacist that has recently added prescribing to his repertoire.

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Andy Boysan

Andy Boysan

BPharm

Reviewed on: 14-10-2020

Next review date: 14-10-2022


Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.


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