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Bentyl (Generic Dicyclomine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Bentyl (generic name: dicyclomine) is primarily prescribed to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including abdominal pain and cramping, as well as bowel irregularities such as diarrhea and constipation. It belongs to a class of medications called anticholinergics, which work by relaxing the muscles in the stomach and intestines, thereby reducing spasms and easing discomfort.

How should this medicine be used?

The medication is typically taken orally in the form of tablets or capsules. The dosage and frequency of Bentyl usage depend on the severity of symptoms and the individual’s response to treatment. It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully. Usually, Bentyl is taken before meals, typically 4 times daily, but this can vary based on your doctor’s recommendation.

It’s important not to exceed the prescribed dosage or alter the frequency of use without consulting your healthcare provider first. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

Bentyl may cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, or constipation. If any of these side effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor promptly. Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid alcohol and activities requiring mental alertness, such as driving, while taking Bentyl, as it can impair your ability to concentrate and react quickly.

Always discuss any concerns or questions about Bentyl usage with your healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Other uses for this medicine

Bentyl (dicyclomine) may be prescribed for conditions beyond irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), though such use would be off-label and should only occur under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Off-label use might include treating other gastrointestinal disorders characterized by spasms or motility issues, such as functional dyspepsia or diverticulitis. However, the effectiveness and safety of Bentyl for these purposes may vary, and its use should be carefully monitored by a healthcare provider.

What special precautions should I follow?

When taking Bentyl, there are several special precautions to keep in mind:

  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including any allergies, pre-existing conditions, medications (prescription and over-the-counter), and any history of gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of Bentyl with your doctor. While some studies suggest it may be safe during pregnancy, others caution against its use, especially in the first trimester. It’s essential to weigh the potential benefits against any potential risks.
  • Children and Elderly: Bentyl may be prescribed for children, but the dosage and administration should be carefully determined by a pediatrician. Similarly, elderly individuals may be more sensitive to the side effects of Bentyl, such as dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Bentyl may interact with certain medications, such as other anticholinergic drugs, leading to increased side effects or decreased effectiveness.
  • Medical Conditions: If you have certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma, urinary retention, prostate enlargement, or certain heart conditions, use Bentyl with caution, as it may exacerbate these conditions.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Bentyl may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness until you know how Bentyl affects you.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about Bentyl to ensure safe and effective treatment. If you experience any concerning side effects or have any doubts, contact your doctor promptly.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for Bentyl are generally not required. However, some individuals may experience dry mouth as a side effect of the medication. In such cases, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help alleviate dry mouth symptoms.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Bentyl, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Bentyl (dicyclomine) may cause side effects, which can vary in severity and occurrence among individuals. Common side effects of Bentyl include:

  • Dry Mouth: This is one of the most common side effects of Bentyl. Drinking water or using sugar-free gum or candies can help alleviate dry mouth.
  • Blurred Vision: Bentyl may cause blurred vision or difficulty focusing. It’s important to avoid activities that require clear vision, such as driving, until your vision returns to normal.
  • Dizziness or Drowsiness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or drowsiness while taking Bentyl. Avoiding alcohol and certain activities requiring mental alertness can help reduce the risk of falls or accidents.
  • Constipation: Bentyl can sometimes cause or worsen constipation. Increasing fluid intake, eating high-fiber foods, and staying physically active can help alleviate constipation.
  • Nausea or Upset Stomach: Some people may experience nausea or upset stomach as a side effect of Bentyl. Taking the medication with food or milk can help reduce these symptoms.
  • Difficulty Urinating: In some cases, Bentyl may cause difficulty urinating or urinary retention, especially in men with prostate enlargement. If you experience any difficulty urinating, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, allergic reactions to Bentyl can occur. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.

These are not all the possible side effects of Bentyl. If you experience any other unusual symptoms while taking Bentyl, contact your healthcare provider for advice. Additionally, if you have any concerns about side effects or if they become severe or persistent, seek medical attention promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of Bentyl:


  • Store Bentyl at room temperature away from light and moisture.
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store Bentyl in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink, where it might get exposed to moisture.
  • Avoid storing Bentyl in extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold).


  • Dispose of unused or expired Bentyl properly according to local regulations or guidelines.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider on the best way to dispose of Bentyl safely.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose or emergency, such as severe dizziness, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness, call emergency medical services (e.g., 911 in the United States) immediately.
  • If possible, provide information about the amount of Bentyl ingested and when it was taken.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your healthcare provider and laboratory while taking Bentyl.
  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care that you are taking Bentyl, especially before undergoing surgery or dental procedures.
  • Do not share Bentyl with others, even if they have similar symptoms.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking Bentyl, as it may increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness.
  • If you experience any new or worsening symptoms while taking Bentyl, inform your healthcare provider promptly.

Following these guidelines can help ensure the safe and effective use of Bentyl. If you have any questions or concerns about Bentyl, its storage, disposal, or usage, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

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