There are not many conditions that are quite as uncomfortable as an issue associated with the gastrointestinal tract. Fortunately, there are a variety of medications that have been created specifically to treat just about any gastric distress. Some of the following gastrointestinal drug categories are available to treat issues such as diarrhea, nausea, bloating caused by gas, and vomiting.
Diarrhea can be caused by a number of conditions, including ulcerative colitis and influenza. In addition, there are many medications and food allergies that will irritate the bowel causing bouts of diarrhea. Typical Antidiarrheals, such as diphenoxylate combine a narcotic drug with an anticholinergic to treat diarrhea.
Anticholinergics such as dicyclomine are used to significantly slow the action of the bowel, resulting in a reduction in the amount of stomach acid present. Because these drugs work by relieving muscle spasm and relaxing the muscles, they can be used to treat muscle spasms as well as slow down the action of the bowel.
Antiemetics drugs are generally used to treat the urge to vomit. One of the most popular as well as effective forms of this drug category is prochlorperazine, which is a derivative of phenothiazine. This medication specifically acts with the area of the brain which signals vomiting. In many cases these drugs are administered in suppository form and can show an alleviation of symptoms such as nausea and vomiting within minutes.
While antihistamines are generally used to treat symptoms of allergies, drugs such as Diphenhydramine can be used to treat the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, especially if these symptoms are caused by motion sickness. This drug category works in the center of the brain which signals vomiting as well..
These particular drugs are used to heal peptic ulcers as well as treat the symptoms associated with them. In addition, people suffering from acid reflux disease are typically given this type of drug to reduce the amount of stomach acid, thereby relieving heart burn. These drugs are Histamine (H-2 blockers) and include famotidine, nizatidine and rantidine. They function by blocking histamines from attaching to the receptors located on acid secreting cells. This keeps the histamine from producing an excess of stomach acid.
Because there are such a wide variety of gastrointestinal drugs which serve many different purposes, it is hard to list a full set of side effects or drug interactions which can be associated with the many categories. However, the most common side effects are generally, headache, sore throat, vomiting, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, disorientation, drowsiness, and joint pain. For a more detailed list of possible side effects it would be wise to refer to the exact medication and its specific side effects and drug interactions.