Dicycloverine helps relieve lower tummy (abdominal) cramps and pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease.
Side-effects are uncommon, but can include dry mouth, feeling dizzy, and blurred vision.
|Type of medicine||An antimuscarinic antispasmodic|
|Used for||Relief of symptoms caused by gastrointestinal cramps|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid medicine|
Dicycloverine is an antispasmodic medicine which is used to relieve cramps in the stomach and intestines. It helps to ease bloating and the spasm-type pain that can be associated with irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease. It works by causing the muscles of the gastrointestinal system to relax.
Dicycloverine is available on prescription and you can also buy it from a pharmacy, without a prescription.
Before taking dicycloverine
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking dicycloverine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have prostate problems.
- If you have any other digestive system problems, such as reflux disease, diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, or severe constipation.
- If you have high blood pressure, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
- If you have glaucoma. This is a condition where the pressure in your eyes is raised.
- If you have been told by a doctor that you have a fast heart rate.
- If you have Down's syndrome.
- If you are less than 18 years old or over 65 years old.
- If you have been told you have nerve damage, a condition called autonomic neuropathy.
- If you have a condition that causes muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take dicycloverine
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about dicycloverine and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- There are two strengths of tablet available (10 mg and 20 mg) and one strength of liquid medicine (10 mg/5 ml).
- Take dicycloverine as directed on the label. The usual adult dose of dicycloverine is one 10 mg tablet, or one 5 ml spoonful of liquid medicine, three times a day. If dicycloverine has been prescribed for you by a doctor, your dose may be different to this, in which case take it exactly as your doctor tells you to.
- Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You can take dicycloverine before or after meals.
- If you forget to take a dose, do not take two doses together to make up for the missed dose - just continue with the next dose when it is due.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is generally recommended that you take dicycloverine only when necessary. So, start taking it when your symptoms flare up and stop taking it when your symptoms settle down again (this is usually within a week or two).
- If you develop any new symptoms, or if your symptoms get worse, make an appointment to see your doctor for further advice.
- If you have bought dicycloverine and your symptoms have not improved within two weeks of taking it, you should see your doctor for advice (even if you have previously been diagnosed by your doctor).
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with dicycloverine. Many medicines that can commonly be bought can increase the risk of side-effects.
Can dicycloverine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. Side-effects from dicycloverine are uncommon, but the table below contains some which may occur. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. Unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Dicycloverine side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Dry mouth, feeling thirsty||Try sucking sugar-free sweets or chewing sugar-free gum. Drink plenty of water|
|Feeling dizzy, blurred vision||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to dicycloverine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store dicycloverine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are due to have an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Dicycloverine hydrochloride 10 mg Tablets; Zentiva, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2014
- British National Formulary; 67th Edition (March 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Helen Huins