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
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8 thoughts on “Dicyclomine

  1. jennifer

    I am taking Dicyclamine. My doc tells me to not take it on a regular basis, but only take a pill when the bowel muscles are contracting & I am experiencing pain. In other words, take a pill right when symptoms begin. I tried that; it didn’t work.
    I have IBS and have pain and diahreah about twice a week. Sometimes the pain is so bad I get chills.
    What do you recommend?

  2. admin Post author

    I would definitely recommend that you discuss this with your doctor, as he is responsible for your prescription. Or, if you feel that your doctor is not providing you with adequate health care, it may be time to find a new doctor.

    Unfortunately, IBS can be very painful and this is not 100% fixable with any known treatment.

  3. amber

    I went to the emergency room, for my stomach prob I had diarhea for 3 weeks straight. The doctor gave me it, but it never worked it didn’t help at all. She gave me a month supply it started helping after I had almost finished the amount she gave me. How long are u suppose to take them? Just the dose they give or is it a rest of life type medication?

  4. admin Post author


    Dicyclomine should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. Ask your doctor if a prescription refill is appropriate for your specific situation.

  5. Ana

    I just got prescribed this medicine… I haven’t started taking it, but the doctoc did tell me that it could take up to 4 weeks to start working so not to give up on it. I have been having alot of problems with my stomach and I haven’t actually be diagnosed with IBS so I hope this helps me.

  6. Tom

    @Jennifer — ask your doc about Lomotil or even good old fashioned Paragoric. The latter is very nasty, but is about the only thing that will help when I have bouts of cramping+diarrhea. Bentyl works well for cramping (have had stomach problems since I was toddler. For a while I thought barium “milkshakes” were one of the major food groups! LOL)

    @Amber and Admin — in my area (South-Eastern US) my doctors usually keep “sales samples” provided by assorted drug reps/salesmen. Some hospitals do too. In either case, they usually give directions on how to take the med. These free samples have been a godsend in cases where the insurance company refuses to pay for certain drugs – even after doctors have sent piles of paperwork to prove the patient needs it.

  7. stephanie

    I have ibs and my dicyclomine helps me out a lot. I’ve been takin it for almost a year. I was told that I would have to take it the rest of my life.

  8. Bobbie

    i have been taking it for 3mnths. now and wouldnt go with out it, i have felt so relieved since im taking it. and now i goto the bathroom everyday regularly. thank god for dicyclomine…….

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