Antispasmodic -- A Closer LookAn antispasmodic is a drug that aims to control gut spasm, which is usually a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This smooth muscle relaxant is widely available in pharmacies, but is mostly obtainable upon presenting a prescription.
As a treatment option for irritable bowel syndrome, antispasmodics help give relief not only for spasm, but also for bloating and abdominal pain, and limit the movement of the intestines. Antispasmodics are not a 100% cure for IBS, but these drugs work just fine in most cases. Even those suffering from diverticular disease find positive results when antispasmodic is used to treat their conditions.
The walls of our guts are lined by smooth muscle controlled by a broad network of neurons. Gut movements are attributed to the smooth muscle group, and the neurons work to restrict the motility, or movement, of our gut.
The different chemicals produced by our body stimulate these neurons by fastening to so-called docking sites, which are actually special receptors located on the surface of the muscle. This action results in the resting and contracting movements of the smooth muscle. When irritable bowel syndrome is present, too many contractions (spasms) take place which bring about pain. What antispasmodics do is act directly on the smooth muscle in order to provide a relaxed state, thereby alleviating the pain caused by the gut spasms.
At present, no certain type of antispasmodic is regarded better than another at relieving gut spasms. IBS patients may want to test the different types available to determine which particular antispasmodic works best for them -- but only under a doctor's supervision.
Antispasmodic intake should always be in accordance with your doctor's advice. Generally, these drugs should be taken only when the need arises. Regular use tends to make the drug lose its potency. It is always imperative to read the literature that comes with your brand's package for more in depth information. Antispasmodics normally take an hour to work after ingesting, and how effective it will be depends on how much of it you took and how often.
Almost everyone can safely consume antispasmodics. The exceptions should be clearly outlined on the leaflet that comes with your drug's package, and would usually include paralytic ileus patients and those with enlarged prostates. Mothers who are either pregnant or on breastfeeding stage should consult a doctor before taking this drug.
Side effects from taking antispasmodic are not very common, and if ever there are any, they are no cause for alarm. Individuals taking the drug may experience constipation, heartburn, flatulence and bloating, and a slightly annoying drying of the mouth. Still, it is best to refer to the leaflet included in the medication's packet for specifics on side effects.