Which medications in the drug class Antidepressant drugs are used in the treatment of Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019
  • Author: Mohammad F El-Baba, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Antidepressant drugs

Numerous studies have shown that TCAs (ie, imipramine, amitriptyline) can be useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in some patients. In addition to their antidepressant effects, TCAs have neuromodulatory and analgesic properties, which can be achieved at lower doses than those required for treatment of depression. Because of their inhibitory effect on gut motor function, TCAs may benefit patients with irritable bowel syndrome with predominant diarrhea or pain. TCAs particularly benefit patients with irritable bowel syndrome who have well-defined depression or panic attacks.

Amitriptyline (Elavil)

Inhibits reuptake of serotonin and/or norepinephrine at presynaptic neuronal membrane, which increases concentration in CNS.

Imipramine (Tofranil)

Inhibits reuptake of norepinephrine or serotonin (5-HT) at presynaptic neuron.

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