Bentyl, which is a brand-name dicyclomine medication, belongs to a group of drugs called anticholinergics and antispasmodics. It is a medication used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, which affects the bowels and the intestines. It can relieve stomach cramping and intestinal cramping in addition. What Bentyl does is relax the stomach muscles and slow down the processes of the lower intestine if they are overstimulated.
Bentyl can be taken orally. A person will usually take this medication four times daily, once before each meal and one more time just before going to sleep at night. Your doctor may give you alternate instructions, however, based on how old you are and what your medical history is. For instance, some patients will start out by taking less Bentyl, and their dosage will slowly be increased. Whatever system your doctor prescribes to you for taking Bentyl, make sure you follow those orders precisely.
Some patients take Bentyl in a syrup form. If you do this, you’ll want to mix the Bentyl with water, and the amount of water and the amount of Bentyl should be roughly equal to one another. Also, you want to make sure you have a special measuring spoon or measuring cup in order to dole out the exact amount of medication you need. If you don’t have one, it’s a good idea to buy one.
Certain people should not take Bentyl. This group would include people who have or have had in the past one of the following: major cardiac disease, digestive tract blockages, ulcerative colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, glaucoma or myasthenia gravis.
There are also important things of which a person on Bentyl should be aware. One is that if you’re taking this drug, you shouldn’t take antacids. Or, if you must take antacids, take them after your meals, not too close in time to the previous dosage of Bentyl or to the next dosage. The reason for this is that antacids make it much harder for the body to absorb dicyclomine. There’s also a slight chance, indeed very slight, that taking this drug could lead to a dependency on Bentyl or a desire to take other drugs. If you sense that you are growing dependent on Bentyl, tell your doctor about this situation, and don’t be ashamed. Also, some patients who take Bentyl for a long period of time may find that they will go through some painful symptoms of withdrawal when they stop taking it, symptoms which include vomiting and dizziness, although this phenomenon is also quite rare.
When people are on Bentyl, or any dicyclomine, they often find that their capacity to sweat has been greatly reduced. As a result, you need to be careful, especially when it’s hot outside or when you’re exercising, that you don’t overheat yourself. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated – at least ten full glasses. And do whatever you need to do to stay cool; Bentyl patients have an elevated risk of heat stroke. Also, you need to watch out for certain side effects that could pose a danger to your health. These include an irregular heartbeat, hallucinations or less urine than usual – or even no urine at all. All of these side effects are highly unusual, but should you experience one or more of them, you need to get to a doctor as fast as you can. There are other side effects that some Bentyl patients experience, side effects that don’t require you to see a doctor unless they are persistent or they’re causing you exceptional pain or discomfort. An abbreviated list of such side effects would include dizziness, blurry vision, headaches, bloating, constipation, itching, nasal congestion and dry mouth.