Bentyl is a trade name for dicyclomine, an anticholinergic and antispasmodic drug mainly used to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
Dicyclomine, the main active ingredient in Bentyl, is classified as an anticholinergic and antispasmodic drug.
Anticholinergic means the drug inhibits a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which, among other things, can cause smooth muscle spasms. By blocking acetylcholine, dicyclomine can prevent painful muscle spasms in organs like the intestine and the bladder. Antispasmodic means dicyclomine can relieve painful smooth muscle spasms once they occur.
Because of these anticholinergic and antispasmodic properties, Bentyl is mainly used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, a medical condition characterized by abdominal pain. The exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome are unknown. However, the condition affects the large intestine (colon) and causes mild to severe abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. Drugs like Bentyl may not be able to prevent or cure irritable bowel syndrome, but they can prevent and alleviate the symptoms.
Bentyl is available in both capsule and tablet forms. Inactive ingredients in the drug include lactose, sucrose, pregelatinized corn starch, magnesium stearate, calcium sulfate, acacia, titanium dioxide and dibasic calcium phosphate.
Bentyl dosage will depend on physician recommendation. Dosage will also vary depending on the severity of the condition and response to treatment.
Bentyl should be taken four times a day, including at bedtime. Each dose should be taken before meals. It’s highly recommended to take Bentyl at the same time each day.
Bentyl doses should be taken exactly as prescribed, not more, not less. Follow all directions as printed in the patient information leaflet and as instructed by a physician.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Bentyl if allergic to dicyclomine or similar medications.
Seek physician advice before taking Bentyl if pregnant, attempting to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dicyclomine may pose elevated risks for individuals older than 65 years of age. Discuss the risks of taking Bentyl with a physician if in this age group.
Bentyl may not be safe for patients with a history of the following conditions: heart failure, high blood pressure, glaucoma, ulcerative colitis, enlarged prostate (prostatic hyperplasia), esophageal reflux, gastrointestinal tract blockages, trouble urinating, myasthenia gravis, hyperthyroidism, autonomic neuropathy, hiatal hernia, heart arrhythmia, liver disease or kidney disease.
Bentyl may cause adverse drug reactions with certain medications, especially antacids, antidepressants, antihistamines, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, narcotic pain relievers, sedatives and sleeping pills. Disclose all current prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin and herbal medications taking to the prescribing doctor.
Dicyclomine can reduce the body’s ability to sweat. Therefore, in higher temperatures dicyclomine can cause fever or heat stroke if necessary precautions are not taken.
Bentyl and dicyclomine are known to commonly cause one or more of the following side effects:
Stomach pain or upset stomach
Bloating or gas
Loss of appetite
Severe side effects include hallucinations, coma, pounding heartbeat, anxiety, feeling very tired, confusion, flushed skin, mood problems, fainting and sleeping trouble. Immediately consult a doctor if any of these side effects occur.