What is Buscopan?
First of all, buscopan is a brand name for the medicine sold in pharmacies. It contains the active ingredient hyoscine butylbromide. It is a medication to treat spasms of the gastrointestinal tract or the genitourinary tract as it functions as an antispasmodic and anticholinergic drug. Thus it can be used to treat pain from stomach cramps by relaxing the gut and relieving period cramps. The medicine works very quickly by relieving the symptoms within 15 minutes. Other than stomach cramps it is also prescribed as a medicine for relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
Mechanism of action
As buscopan is an anticholinergic drug, it works by blocking the action acetylcholine in the smooth muscle of gastrointestinal tract, biliary and urinary tract.
Dosage of Buscopan
Buscopan comes as tablets but can be given as an injection. Each tablet contains 10mg of hyoscine butylbromide. It can be taken by adults and children aged 6 years and above.
In cases for adults, they can take 2 tablets 4 times per day and in cases of relieving IBS, they can start by taking 1 tablet 3 times daily and if necessary your doctor will prescribe an increase in dose to 2 tablets 4 times daily.
Children from the age 6 years and older can take 1 tablet 3 times daily.
The duration of treatment will depend on the clinical response and should not be used in extended periods. Buscopan is not recommended to be used for more than 2 weeks.
Contraindications of Buscopan
Buscopan is not suitable for certain people, specifically:
- People with allergic reactions towards hyoscine butylbromide or any other components of the product
- People with myasthenia gravis
- People with narrow angle glaucoma
- People with paralytical or obstructive ileus
- People with megacolon
Precautions When Taking Buscopan
Buscopan may increase your heart rate. In a case of thyrotoxicosis, cardiac insufficiency or failure and cardiac surgery where there is tachycardia, buscopan should be used in caution.
It should be practiced with caution when given to patients with pyrexia as buscopan can decrease sweating due to the effect from being an anticholinergic drug.
It should be noted that people with rare hereditary conditions such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrose-isomaltose insufficiency must know that buscopan tablets contain sugars.
If in any case during the treatment with buscopan, you are experiencing severe stomach pain which worsens or develops symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fever, changes in bowel movement, decreased blood pressure, fainting, blood in stool please immediately go to the hospital to get medical attention.
If you have other medications for IBS, you should just take one or the other. It is not recommended to take both medications. Medications for IBS such as peppermint oil and mebeverine are also antispasmodic drugs and work similarly like buscopan.
You should take the drug or any drugs with alcohol. Alcohol can enhance the sedative effect of buscopan.
Buscopan during Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
Buscopan is not recommended for women during pregnancy as there is limited data about the use of hyoscine butylbromide in pregnant women.
It is also not recommended to be used during breastfeeding as there is insufficient data if buscopan can harm the baby and there is also a small chance of buscopan reducing the production of breast milk.
Side Effects of Buscopan
Side effects of buscopan rarely occur and if it does it only causes minor side effects.
Common side effects reported:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
Serious side effects
- Loss of vision
- Difficulty to urinate