How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask A. Schuyler, NP Your Own Question
A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16308
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
Type Your Health Question Here...
A. Schuyler, NP is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm 20 years old and recently diagnosed with IBS-C. After

This answer was rated:

I'm 20 years old and recently diagnosed with IBS-C.
After many many tests my gastroenterologist came to this conclusion.
He prescribed Levsin/SL .125mg for pain, and told me to take miralax daily, or every other day. and to lower dosage if my stool becomes to soft.
I am now regular again (once or twice a day), but the gas and stomach pain is bad.
I get lower right quadrant pains bad. as well as lower left, not always but many times. Levsin is not helping at all, unless it's mild pain.
It is mostly intestinal gas pain.
I talked with him about what my GP recommended, a low-dose SSRI and Bentyl, but he said he'd rather start out conservatively.
As for the SSRI.. I wouldn't mind. I honestly do get very anxious sometimes, I also get very bad stomach aches when nervous, I get depressed at night before bed and I have mood swings. I'm not sure if this is the cause of my IBS or exacerbated by my IBS...
But at the same time I am afraid of SSRIs for their sexual side effects. I have heard SNRIs have less?
And as far as a pain medication...
Should I suggest Bentyl to my doctor or stay away from it? I have heard mixed things. I have heard some say it's an amazing drug, and others say it made them sick.
So what do you recommend? Any suggestions?

Hello, Bill,

Welcome to Just Answer and thanks for your question. Both Levsin and Bentyl are anticholinergics to help prevent muscle spasms that cause pain. Neither is a pain-reliever per se. Levsin sub-lingual is my first choice since it dissolves on the tongue and provides almost instant relief whereas Bentyl is a tablet that is taken 4 times a day.

Exercise will help immensely for intestinal gas pains. So will use of the over-the-counter drug Beano before eating anything that tends to produce gas (onions, garlic, yeast breads, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.). If the Beano doesn't help enough, then avoiding those foods is the next step.

Anti-anxiety medication is probably a good idea since stress and anxiety have a HUGE impact on physical symptoms. You can also consider cognitive behavioral therapy (with a psychologist or licensed counselor) to help you manage anxiety without drugs. It is the stress and anxiety that cause the IBS symptoms to worsen, not the other way around. There are SSRI and combination SSRI/SNRI drugs that will treat both anxiety and depression. Sexual side effects are individualized so what causes a problem for some men using any particular drug won't cause a problem for the next man. It is a matter of trial and error to see which drug works for you with the fewest side effects.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for the reply,

The problem is that Levsin isn't helping.

This morning I woke up with very severe lower abdominal pain and levsin did nothing for it.

I exercise 3-4 days a week for about 1 hour each day. Anaerobic exercise though.

Is there one that maybe is known to have lesser? Like I know Wellbutrin statistically has a lower chance, problem is that it causes constipation which would just worsen my problems.

Thank you again!

You need aerobic exercise to help with gas.

Wellbutrin is neither SSRI nor SNRI. It is indicated for major depressive disorder, not for anxiety. It can actually worsen anxiety in some patients. Buspirone is also a non-SSRI non-SNRI that has a very low side effect profile. However, you won't know what gives you side effects until your doctor puts you on a drug for a month or so.

Getting the anxiety under control will help (or even eliminate) with the pain.

A. Schuyler, NP and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you