Alverine capsules help to relieve lower tummy (abdominal) cramps and bloating associated with irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and painful periods.
Any side-effects are usually mild.
|Type of medicine||An antispasmodic|
|Used for||Pain caused by gastrointestinal cramps or period pain cramps|
|Also called||Spasmonal®; Audmonal®|
Alverine is an antispasmodic medicine which is taken to relieve bloating and crampy pain in the lower tummy (abdomen). These symptoms are commonly associated with the gastrointestinal conditions irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease. Alverine can also be taken to help relieve period pain cramps. Alverine works on the muscles in the lower abdomen, causing them to relax.
Alverine capsules are available on prescription and you can buy them from a pharmacy, without a prescription, if your symptoms have previously been diagnosed by a doctor.
Before taking alverine
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking alverine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- If you have severe constipation, or if you feel your bowel is not working properly.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take alverine
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about alverine and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take the capsules as directed on the label. There are two strengths of capsule - 60 mg, and 120 mg. Capsules of 120 mg have have the word 'Forte' after the brand name. The usual dose for adults and children over the age of 12 years is 60-120 mg taken one, two or three times a day, depending upon the severity of the symptoms. Alverine is not suitable for those aged under 12 years.
- Swallow the capsules with a drink of water. You can take alverine before or after meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, do not take two doses together to make up for the missed dose - just continue with the next dose when it is due.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is generally recommended that you take alverine capsules only when necessary. So, start taking the capsules when your symptoms flare up, and continue to take them until you feel better. Stop taking the capsules when your symptoms settle down again (this is usually within a week or two).
- If you develop any new symptoms, or if your symptoms get worse, make an appointment to see your doctor for further advice.
Can alverine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the side-effects associated with alverine. These are usually mild and rarely cause a problem. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine.
|Alverine side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick||Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling dizzy||Do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel well again|
|Itching and skin rash, feeling short of breath||Speak with a doctor or pharmacist for advice in case these are signs of an allergic-type reaction|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the capsules, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store alverine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are due to have an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 67th Edition (March 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Prof Cathy Jackson