Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Antidepressants for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Antidepressants are used to treat depression, anxiety, or
both by correcting imbalances in brain chemistry. For people who have
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), doses much lower than
those usually used to treat depression can help relieve symptoms of IBS such as pain, bloating, and feeling like you are unable
to pass a stool.footnote 1
They may be used to treat chronic, unremitting
abdominal (belly) pain that interferes with your daily activities. Here are some
examples of antidepressants used to treat IBS. Your doctor may give you one
that is not in this list.
For people who have IBS along with depression and anxiety,
these medicines may be used in doses that are usually used to treat
depression or anxiety. Some antidepressants may make constipation worse. Others may
make diarrhea worse. You may start to feel better in 1 to 3 weeks after taking
antidepressant medicine. But it can take as many as 6 to 8 weeks to see more
improvement. If you have questions or concerns about your medicines, or if you
do not notice any improvement by 3 weeks, talk to your doctor. See the topic
Depression for more information.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.
See Drug Reference for more information about these
medicines. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
American College of Gastroenterology (2009). An evidence-based systematic review on the management of irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 104(Suppl 1): S8-S35.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 5, 2017
Current as of:
May 5, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.