The Independent Pharmacy

Mebeverine Side Effects: What To Expect From The IBS Treatment

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 6 Dec 2022

If you’re looking for an IBS treatment that can reliably treat symptoms such as stomach spasms and intestinal cramps, Mebeverine can be a great option. This prescription-only medicine is effective, fast, and safe: side effects are very rare, and mild when they appear.

Despite its safety, though, there’s value in understanding the potential consequences of using Mebeverine. Every medication poses some risk, and you need to know the rare side effects so you can respond accordingly in the unlikely event that you encounter them.

To that end, we put together this guide to the possible side effects of Mebeverine. In addition to noting them, we’ll briefly recap the basics of this treatment and answer various common questions about everything from overdosing to using Mebeverine while pregnant.

If you’d like to learn more about this popular treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, you should visit our piece covering the long-term use of Mebeverine. With that noted, let’s get started.

Mebeverine treats symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Mebeverine is a popular and effective treatment used to alleviate the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Mebeverine can also be used to treat other stomach and intestinal conditions such as chronic irritable colon, spastic constipation, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis.

Mebeverine is a generic version of the popular IBS treatment Colofac (meaning Colofac is the branded version of this medication). The active ingredient is mebeverine hydrochloride, a type of medicine known as an antispasmodic or smooth muscle relaxant: it relaxes the muscles in the wall of the intestines and gut to help control muscle spasms and relieve painful cramps.

Mebeverine is a prescription-only IBS treatment, which means you can’t get it over the counter. If you want to use it, you’ll need to consult a medical professional to get a prescription first. You can speed this process up by completing our online consultation process: once we’ve approved it, you can buy Mebeverine 135mg tablets directly from The Independent Pharmacy.

Mebeverine 135mg Tablets
Mebeverine 135mg Tablets
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You can find out more about this popular IBS treatment on our Mebeverine guide page. There, we answer various key questions (such as ‘Can you take Mebeverine long term?’).

A summary of Mebeverine side effects

As with all other medicines (but particularly prescription medicines due to their greater potency), Mebeverine can cause unwanted side effects while treating IBS — but that doesn’t mean that everyone who uses this treatment will experience Mebeverine side effects. Most people who take this medicine have overwhelmingly-positive experiences, with any issues that do appear to be very mild and passing quickly.

Even so, it’s always worth finding out more about the possible harmful effects so you know what can go wrong in rare circumstances (and when you should consult health professionals).

Here’s a representative (though not exhaustive) list of possible Mebeverine side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Tiredness
  • General malaise
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin irritations — an itchy rash, swelling, inflamed skin or other signs of an allergic reaction (sometimes known as hypersensitivity)

The side effects of Mebeverine are generally mild, and you needn’t be worried about them. They should clear up quickly once your body gets used to the medication and your symptoms settle.

Some people may get mild itchy rashes, swelling or inflamed skin when they use Mebeverine. Those side effects indicate mild allergic reactions which don’t present any danger: if the symptoms prove highly unpleasant, antihistamines can effectively ease them. If you experience a more extreme allergic reaction, though, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Common side effects and symptoms

Everyone’s body is unique, which means that one medicine in wide use can produce many different reactions, but commonalities mean that some Mebeverine side effects are more common than others (although these are still rare).

These relatively-common side effects are skin irritation, bloating, dry mouth, heartburn, dizziness, and lightheadedness during use. These issues shouldn’t bother you too much, but you should seek medical advice if you feel particularly concerned (most likely because they’re persisting or even getting worse).

If you’re concerned about any Mebeverine side effects at all, or your symptoms persist or get worse, seek advice from relevant healthcare professionals.

The threat of allergic reactions

Serious side effects of Mebeverine are extremely unusual, but you should still be aware of them, and the most significant is a severe allergic reaction (also known as anaphylaxis).

You mustn’t take Mebeverine tablets (or Mebeverine in any other form) if you know you’re allergic to mebeverine hydrochloride or any of the other ingredients in Mebeverine. You can find a list of ingredients on our Mebeverine dosage page or in the patient information leaflet.

These are the symptoms and signs that indicate a serious allergic reaction:

  • Skin rashes
  • Itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • Trouble breathing (breathlessness or wheezing)
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Trouble talking
  • Swelling, particularly of the face, mouth, lips, tongue or throat
  • Severe dizziness or fainting

These issues indicate a serious allergic reaction and constitute an emergency. If you experience them after taking Mebeverine, seek immediate medical help by calling 999 or going to A&E.

Frequently-asked questions

Does Mebeverine cause liver-related side effects?

Taking Mebeverine by itself shouldn’t cause problems with your liver or produce any liver-related side effects, but you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using it if you already suffer from liver or kidney problems. If you have liver disease, liver failure, or cirrhosis, then Mebeverine may not be an appropriate treatment.

If in doubt, check with a medical professional. If this particular IBS treatment isn’t suitable for you, they should be able to suggest a viable alternative.

Does Mebeverine cause weight loss?

Mebeverine doesn’t cause weight loss or weight gain. If your weight fluctuates or you suffer digestive problems while using this medicine, there’s likely an underlying issue behind it. Consult your doctor so they can help you diagnose and treat it.

Does Mebeverine cause bloating?

Mebeverine is an antispasmodic IBS medicine, which means that it works to relax the muscles in the walls of the intestines and the gut, stopping them from spasming. By working on these muscles, Mebeverine helps to relieve the symptoms associated with IBS, including uncomfortable bloating, flatulence, and painful stomach cramps.

Mebeverine tablets also work to settle your gastrointestinal tract, returning your digestive system to a more natural rhythm, and this should reduce bloating even further. In very rare cases, Mebeverine users may find that their bloating doesn’t go down during treatment, or even gets worse. This is highly unusual, though, and isn’t a reason to worry.

Does Mebeverine make you go to the toilet?

Mebeverine has no laxative effect and won’t make you go to the toilet. Since it relaxes your gut muscles, though, it does promote healthy bowel movements when you do need to use the toilet, working to relieve constipation and other IBS symptoms.

Does Mebeverine cause constipation?

Mebeverine doesn’t cause constipation. On the contrary, it’s used in formulations designed to alleviate constipation. In Fybogel Mebeverine, it’s paired with ispaghula husk (a fibrous laxative), forming a treatment that can regulate bowel function to relieve many digestive issues.

Whether you’re dealing with standard IBS symptoms (such as stomach cramps and spasms) or other related problems such as constipation or trapped wind, Mebeverine products can help. Take a look at Fybogel Mebeverine Sachets, and get in touch if you need assistance.

Fybogel Mebeverine Sachets
Fybogel Mebeverine Sachets
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Does Mebeverine make you tired?

Users of Mebeverine very rarely report tiredness, drowsiness or insomnia as adverse effects, but it’s hard to attribute this to the medication because chronic fatigue is commonly linked with IBS (even though medical experts don’t currently understand why). If you feel particularly tired while using Mebeverine, it’s most likely to be unrelated.

In short, then, taking Mebeverine shouldn’t affect your ability to drive, ride a bike, or operate heavy machinery. If you’re particularly concerned about bouts of extreme fatigue, regardless of whether you think Mebeverine is contributing to them, you should seek medical attention.

Can you overdose on Mebeverine?

As with any medicine, you can overdose on Mebeverine, leading to unwanted and harmful side effects. Due to this, it’s essential that you follow the course of treatment laid out by your doctor or pharmacist, taking the usual dose when intended.

If you miss a Mebeverine dose or forget to take a tablet for any reason, you should simply move ahead and take the next dose as planned. It’s dangerous to double up on a dose in an effort to make up for the missed dose. Forget the missed dose and aim to avoid missing future doses.

If you take too many Mebeverine tablets by accident, contact your GP or 111 for further advice. Be assured, though, that taking an extra Mebeverine tablet in an accidental one-off incident is unlikely to harm you in any serious way.

You can find out more about how to take Mebeverine and find the correct dose on our Mebeverine dosage page.

Using Mebeverine in pregnancy

The use of Mebeverine in pregnancy isn’t usually recommended. This is because there currently isn’t enough information for medical experts to definitively say whether it’s safe for pregnant women. If you’re trying to get pregnant or you’re already pregnant, speak to a doctor or pharmacist about using Mebeverine: they’ll advise you on the benefits and potential risks so you can decide.

When should you consult a doctor or pharmacist?

Unless you suffer an allergic reaction to Mebeverine, which is incredibly rare, none of its side effects should cause any serious issues — but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see a medical professional if you feel particularly concerned or panicked. After getting your prescription and course of treatment, you should feel free to ask for more assistance if you need it.

It’s important that you have a good experience with this medication, after all, and that includes how you feel about it at any given time. So if you find that you can’t stop worrying about how things are going, or have a question about how the treatment works, reach out for support. And if it feels like an emergency, don’t second-guess it: consult your doctor immediately.

Summary

Mebeverine is a popular prescription-only treatment used to treat IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms such as cramps, bloating and constipation. As the generic version of the branded IBS treatment Colofac, it contains the active ingredient of mebeverine hydrochloride.

Mebeverine side effects are highly unusual and tend to pass quickly when they do develop. The most common side effects of Mebeverine include mild skin irritation, bloating, dry mouth, heartburn, dizziness, and lightheadedness.

If you experience a mild allergic reaction or suffer skin irritation when using Mebeverine, you can treat this by taking an antihistamine (although it will subside on its own). If you ever become concerned about Mebeverine's side effects, you should seek medical advice.

You can buy Mebeverine tablets to treat IBS with minimal side effects from The Independent Pharmacy. All you need to do is fill out our free online consultation form. It’s quick and easy. Once you’ve received your prescription and placed your order, our team will be able to process and dispatch your treatment for delivery as soon as the next day.

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