Hyoscine butylbromide tablets - Buscopan

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Hyoscine butylbromide helps relieve lower tummy (abdominal) muscle cramp and pain.

Side-effects are uncommon, but can include a dry mouth and dry skin.

Type of medicine An antimuscarinic antispasmodic
Used for Relief of lower tummy (abdominal) pain caused by spasm in the muscles of the digestive system or urinary system
Also called Buscopan®
Available as Tablets

Hyoscine butylbromide is an antispasmodic medicine which is taken to relieve cramps in the stomach, intestines or bladder. In particular, it helps to ease bloating and the spasm-type pain that can be associated with irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease. It works by relaxing some of the muscles in your gastrointestinal and urinary systems.

Hyoscine butylbromide is available on prescription. You can also buy it from a pharmacy, without a prescription, to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, providing your symptoms have previously been diagnosed by a doctor.

There is also a medicine called hyoscine which is taken to prevent travel sickness. There is more information about this in a separate medicine leaflet called Hyoscine for travel sickness.

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 hyoscine butylbromide 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 12 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.
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about hyoscine butylbromide and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take hyoscine butylbromide exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usual to be prescribed one or two tablets to take three times a day, although your doctor may increase your dose to two tablets four times daily if needed.
  • Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You can take hyoscine butylbromide 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.
  • It is generally recommended that you take hyoscine butylbromide 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 hyoscine butylbromide 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 hyoscine butylbromide. Many medicines that can commonly be bought can increase the risk of side-effects.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with hyoscine butylbromide. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The 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.

Hyoscine butylbromide side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 100 people)
What can I do if I experience this?
Dry mouth Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets
Dry skin, sweating If troublesome, ask your doctor for advice
Itchy skin rash Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further advice in case this is an allergic-type reaction

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

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, Buscopan® IBS Relief; Boehringer Ingelheim Limited Consumer Healthcare, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2013.
  • Manufacturer's PIL, Buscopan® Tablets; Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 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.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr John Cox
Document ID:
3200 (v25)
Last Checked:
25/09/2014
Next Review:
24/09/2017
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