Description of Dicyclomine

Dicyclomine is a medication that is primarily used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. It is classified within the group of drugs known as anticholinergics. Anticholinergics obstruct the dire effects of acetylcholine which is a chemical transmitter released by the nerves to induce muscular contractions. These drugs will limit contractions by inhibiting the acetylcholine receptors that are found on muscle cells. They will also promote the relaxation of the muscles. Dicyclomine will specifically decrease the number of muscle contractions that occur in the intestines. It has been available for mass consumption since 1950 when it was approved by the FDA.


The initial oral dose of dicyclomine is 20 mg which should be taken 4 times daily. It is possible for the dose to be increased to 40 mg, for as much as 4 times per day. If the medication will be administered by intramuscular injection the amount will typically be 20 mg, 4 times per day.

It is available as a capsule, a tablet, and a syrup that may be taken orally. It is generally taken four times per day. It is recommended that it is taken at the same times for each new day to decrease the likelihood that you will forget to take the medication. This simply means that you can take it at regularly scheduled intervals for example, at 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm. Ensure that you take the medication as it is prescribed, and seek clarification from your doctor and pharmacist about dosing instructions.

If Pregnant or Nursing

There is a lack of substantial information on the effect of dicyclomine on pregnant women at the typical dosages of 80-160 mg per day. However studies that observed pregnant women who were using dicyclomine in the amounts of 40 mg per day for the duration of the first trimester of pregnancy did not appear to expose the foetus to any greater risk of developmental abnormalities.

Because Dicyclomine is absorbed and consequently excreted into breast milk it is generally not advisable to breast feed while on dicyclomine. There have been reported cases of apnea or cessation of breathing when dicyclomine was taken by children. It is therefore important that as a precautionary measure you do not indirectly expose your child to the drug while breastfeeding.

Side Effects

There are a few side effects that are associated with taking dicyclomine these will include

  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Agitation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Seizures

Less often you may experience some additional side effects.

  • Changes in taste
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Impotence
  • Flushing
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty breathing.

Storing the Medication

Do not remove the medication from its original container. Keep it sealed and beyond the reach of children. Ensure it is kept at room temperature and away from excessive heat, cold and moisture. Discard the medication once the expiration date has passed, the drug will no longer be effective at this point.

In case of accidental overdose

In case of accidental overdose get in touch with your local poison control at 1-800-222-1222. If the individual has passed out and is not breathing it is best to call 911 for immediate emergency treatment.

Some symptoms of overdose may include

  • Hallucinations: hearing or seeing things that are not really there.
  • Excitement
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Upset stomach
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hot, dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth