Symptoms, Treatment and Medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Symptoms, Treatment and Medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders , between 25 and 45 million people in the United States are affected by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Of those, 2 in 3 are female.  While most people with IBS are under 50 years of age, older people may be suffering from IBS as well.

Here are more facts about irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Stress is not a cause of IBS (but it may aggravate symptoms).
  • IBS attacks are unpredictable, with symptoms presenting from diarrhea to constipation.
  • Approximately 20-40% of all visits to gastroenterologists are due to symptoms of IBS.

(Fact source: IFFGD)

How is IBS diagnosed?

Anyone suffering from bowel discomfort should seek medical attention.   In order to make a clear diagnosis of IBS your doctor will first run tests to rule out any other possible medical conditions. After other medical conditions have been ruled out, your doctor will use one of three diagnostic criteria to further diagnose IBS:

Manning Criteria:  This criteria focuses on the changes in stool consistency, mucus in the stool, pain relief experienced by passing stools and having incomplete bowel movements.

Rome Criteria: This criteria focuses on the pain a patient experiences, including pain and discomfort related to defecation, as well as abdominal pain and discomfort which may have been ongoing for at least one day per week in the last 3 months.  It also looks at how regular defecation frequency and stool consistency have  changed.

The Type of IBS:   There are three types of IBS – constipation-predominant, diarrhea-predominant and mixed.

Your doctor may also order imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, and/or a colonoscopy to rule out other causes of your abdominal pain.

What are the Symptoms of IBS?

  • Abdominal pain or cramping that is usually relieved or partially relieved following a bowel movement Diarrhea or constipation – sometimes alternating bouts of each Mucus in the stool
  • Excess gas and bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and/or recurrent vomiting
  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping

Prescription Zaxine for the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Zaxine is the Canadian equivalent of Xifaxan.  Both contain the active ingredient rifaximin.

One of the most popular prescription medications for IBS is Xifaxan®.  Manufactured by Salix, this strong antibiotic is used to fight intestinal bacterial infections.  Unlike other antibiotics, it is not absorbed into the blood stream, so the active ingredient, rifaximin, only treats the infection in the intestinal tract, not other parts of the body.

Zaxine is available in 550 mg tablets.

Zaxine is also a known treatment for travelers who have eaten food contaminated with E. coli bacteria.  Known as “travelers’ diarrhea”, this condition presents symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, bowel pain, and fever.

Zaxine is a prescription medication for irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Zaxine can be taken with or without food, and must be taken as prescribed by your doctor.
  • It is important not to take Zaxine in smaller or larger amounts than prescribed or to stop taking it without speaking to your doctor.
  • Do not skip doses.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within 24-48 hours, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Store Zaxine at room temperature and away from heat and moisture.Do not share this medication with anyone, regardless of his or her  symptoms. Tell your doctor about other prescription medications you are taking to ensure Zaxine is safe to take, including heart or blood pressure medications, antifungal medications and other antibiotics, as well as any non-prescription medications,  or supplements.

Lifestyle changes to help treat irritable bowel syndrome

While prescription Zaxine for irritable bowel syndrome offers relief, there may be some changes that can be made in day to day living to help ease symptoms for some patients:

  • Eat smaller meals
  • Avoid stress
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Add more fiber to your daily diet
  • Drink more water
  • Reduce or limit dairy intake

With the help of prescription Zaxine and a few lifestyle changes, there is always hope for better management and comfort.

If you have questions about your prescription medications or any other medication, please contact our team at Canada Online Health by calling toll free 1-800-399-DRUG (3784). One of our patient representatives will be happy to assist you or transfer you to a licensed Canadian pharmacist for a free consultation.

This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor.  It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation.  If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).

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