BMA Concise Guide to Medicine & Drugs


Brand names Boots IBS Relief, Colofac, Colofac IBS, Colofac MR

Used in the following combined preparation Fybogel Mebeverine


Drug group Drug for irritable bowel syndrome

Overdose danger rating Low

Dependence rating Low

Prescription needed No (some preparations)

Available as generic Yes


Mebeverine is an antispasmodic drug used to relieve painful spasms of the intestine (known as colic), such as those that occur as a result of irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease. It has a direct relaxing effect on the muscle in the bowel wall, and may also have an anticholinergic action, which reduces the transmission of nerve signals to the smooth muscle of the bowel wall and thereby prevents spasm. Mebeverine does not have serious side effects.

In addition to being available on its own, mebeverine is also produced in a combined form with ispaghula husk to provide roughage in an easily assimilable formulation. Both the drug on its own and the combined form are commonly used to control symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.


Follow instructions on the label. Call your doctor if symptoms worsen.

How taken/used Tablets, SR capsules, liquid, granules.

Frequency and timing of doses 2–3 x daily, 20 minutes before meals. Combined preparations that contain ispaghula should not be taken immediately before going to bed.

Adult dosage range 300–450mg daily.

Onset of effect 30–60 minutes.

Duration of action 6–8 hours.

Diet advice Combined preparations that contain ispaghula should be taken with plenty of water.

Storage Keep in original container at room temperature out of the reach of children. Protect from light.

Missed dose Take as soon as you remember, then return to your normal dosing schedule.

Stopping the drug The drug can be stopped as soon as you no longer need it.

Exceeding the dose An occasional unintentional extra dose is unlikely to be a cause for concern. Larger overdoses will probably cause constipation, and may cause central nervous system excitability.


Mebeverine rarely produces side effects. Occasionally, it may cause constipation, rash, or swelling of the lips. Consult your doctor if constipation is severe. You should stop taking the drug and contact your doctor promptly if you develop a rash or swelling of the lips.




Be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking this drug if:

· You have cystic fibrosis.

· You have porphyria.

Pregnancy Safety in pregnancy not established. Discuss with your doctor.

Breast-feeding Safety in breast-feeding not established. Discuss with your doctor.

Infants and children Not used in infants and children under 10 years.

Over 60 No special problems.

Driving and hazardous work No special problems.

Alcohol No special problems.


No problems expected.