Medicine for Bloating

Bloating is defined as abnormal swelling around one’s abdominal area. Symptoms include a feeling of stomach tightness which can lead to pain, as well as trapped wind, and increased stomach growling. There are many causes of bloating, including lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, eating too fast, constipation, smoking, stress, and chewing gums. Air can become trapped in one’s abdomen and cause bloated feeling before being expelled as flatulence.

OTC Medicine for Bloating

Some OTC medications can be useful in combating bloating. These include:

1. Beano

Is works to break down complex carbohydrates, helping reduce gas after consuming things like beans or other vegetables which contain raffinose.

2. Lactase Supplements

Lactase is an enzyme that can be acquired as a supplement. It can help reduce bloating for those who are lactose intolerant. Ensuring to only consume lactose-free/reduced lactose products would likely be more effective for such individuals.

3. Simethicone

This active ingredient can be found under many brands such as Gelusil, Gas-X, and Mylanta. It works to break up the bubbles within gas, and they have yet to be proven effective in treating gas or gas related pain.

4. Activated Charcoal

Another OTC medicine for bloating is charcoal tablets such as Charcoal Plus and CharcoCaps. When taken before or after a meal, these tablets can help to reduce bloating and gas. However, much like simethicone, there is no undeniable evidence to suggest that activated charcoal will relieve gas. One should also note that charcoal can stain the inside of one’s mouth as well as clothing if they come into contact with it.


Probiotics can help promote healthy bacteria in one’s intestines, which will help to reduce instance of bloating. They have proved useful in treating many conditions that cause bloating, including IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, pouchitis, and antibiotic associated diarrhea. Probiotics work to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, whilst helping improve one’s immune activity. Probiotics also help reduce bacterial protein production, and decrease one’s liminal pH. Some trials and studies have shown an improvement in symptoms of non-constipated bowel disorders when taking probiotics.

Prescription Medicine for Bloating

1. Antibiotics

An antibiotic medicine often used and highly effective for bloating is Rifaximin. In a study based upon the effects of Rifaximin pitted against a placebo alternative, those who were administered Rifaximin showed a significant improvement in symptoms of IBS and bloating.

One should note that although antibiotics are a great option when considering medicine for bloating, consistent use of antibacterial drugs can disrupt one’s balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.

2. Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

These forms of antidepressants are commonly used in the treatment of abdominal pain. Studies have found an improvement in patients who suffer from bloating and abdominal pain when administered with TCAs.

3. Smooth Muscle Antispasmodics

This medication is often used to treat abdominal pain caused by IBS. These medications are unavailable in the United States, as they may increase the possibility of creating further gas by delaying the movement of gas through the gastro-intestinal tract. That being said, these medications may exacerbate one’s symptoms and should not be used for prolonged periods of time.

4. Osmotic Laxatives

This medication can work to subside symptoms of constipation. The most common form of this medication is called polyethylene glycol, which has been shown to improve symptoms of bloating, especially when bloating was caused by constipation.

5. Prokinetic Agents

Prokinetic agents, or prokinetics, are medications that help control acid reflux. And are typically used with other GERD or heartburn medicines to help strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and cause the contents of the stomach to empty faster. They are used to relieve gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, heart burn, nausea, and vomiting. There are 4 types of them including Bethanechol, Cisapride, Domperidone and Metoclopramide.

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