Mebeverine eases colicky-type pain associated with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
If you develop any new symptoms, or if your symptoms worsen, or if your symptoms have not improved within two weeks, you should see your doctor for advice.
Side-effects are rare.
|Type of medicine||An antispasmodic|
|Used for||Relief of symptoms caused by gastrointestinal cramps (in adults)|
|Available as||Tablets, modified-release capsules, and oral liquid medicine|
Mebeverine 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 condition called irritable bowel syndrome. Mebeverine works on certain muscles in the wall of your intestines, causing them to relax. This eases the pain and cramps.
Mebeverine is available on prescription and you can also buy some packs from a pharmacy, without a prescription.
Before taking mebeverine
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 mebeverine 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 mebeverine
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about mebeverine and any side-effects which you may experience from taking it. Take mebeverine exactly as directed on the label.
- If you have been supplied with 135 mg tablets: the usual dose is one tablet three times daily. Most people find it is best to take the doses about 20 minutes before the three main meals of the day. Swallow the tablets with a small glassful of water. Do not chew the tablets, as they have an unpleasant taste.
- If you have been supplied with 50 mg in 5 ml liquid medicine: the dose information will be printed on the label of the pack that you have been given. Take the doses about 20 minutes before your three main meals of the day if you can.
- If you have been supplied with 200 mg capsules (Colofac® MR brand): take one capsule twice daily, one in the morning and one in the evening. Try to take the capsules about 20 minutes before a meal and swallow each dose with a small glassful of water (at least 100 ml). Do not chew or open the capsules, as this would spoil the coating which controls how the mebeverine is released.
- 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 mebeverine only when necessary. So, start taking it when your symptoms flare up, and continue to take it until you feel better. Stop taking it 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.
- If you have bought mebeverine for irritable bowel syndrome and your symptoms have not improved within two weeks of taking it, you should see your doctor for advice (even if you have previously been diagnosed by your doctor).
Can mebeverine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. Any side-effects from mebeverine are usually mild and rarely cause a problem. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine.
A few people have developed an allergic-type reaction which has included an itchy rash or swelling around the face. Although these symptoms occur rarely, you should let your doctor know if you develop this type of reaction. Alternatively, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to mebeverine, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store mebeverine
- 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 buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.
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
- Manufacturer's PIL, Colofac® Tablets 135 mg; Abbott Healthcare Products Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2014.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Colofac® MR; Abbott Healthcare Products Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2013.
- 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.
Dr Adrian Bonsall