How to Buy Affordable IBS Medications
high drug prices
Of these estimated cases, only 5-7% have been diagnosed. Quick calculations reveal that of some 250 million American adults, nearly 40 million may have IBS. Close to 20 million may not even know it. These already sky-high figures don’t include children.
Despite its prevalence, IBS is a tough condition to treat, at least in part because IBS isn’t a specific term.
IBS is an umbrella term, a catch-all diagnosis used when a patient experiences digestive distress, abdominal pain, or an abnormal pattern of bowel movements.
Unfortunately, managing IBS is as costly as it is confusing.
In one recent study, researchers found the direct cost per patient for IBS ranged from $1,562 to $7,547 per year. Indirect costs were far greater. This makes it vital for people who struggle with IBS symptoms to have access to the life-changing medications (such as Bentyl and Linzess) they need to manage their symptoms and enjoy increased quality of life. As the highest-rated online Canada pharmacy and international drugstore, NorthWestPharmacy.com is ready to provide accessible, affordable IBS prescription medications to help you or your loved ones ease any related symptoms you may be experiencing.
Most Popular IBS Medications
Bentyl Cost (Also known as Dicycloverine)
Bentyl (dicyclomine) is an anticholinergic drug. Anticholinergics block a specific neurotransmitter — a chemical messenger in your brain — from transferring its signals effectively. The targeted neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, sends signals affecting a range of bodily functions.
One of these functions is the involuntary muscle movement in your gastrointestinal tract. An IBS patient may have more prolonged, forceful muscular contractions, which isn’t necessarily helpful. Using Bentyl to relax these muscles may help with cramps, immediate bathroom emergencies, and very loose stools.
Bentyl comes in many forms and can be taken in a range of doses, so communicating with your healthcare provider and adhering to your medication regimen is vital. You may take a capsule or an oral liquid up to four times per day. Typically, patients take Bentyl 30-60 minutes before a meal for best results.
Fortunately, Bentyl is relatively affordable. Since it’s an older drug, you can find a generic equivalent easily. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a 100-pill supply of generic dicyclomine (approximately a one-month supply) for about $50.00.
Rifaximin (xifaxan) is an antibiotic — perhaps an interesting choice for treating gastrointestinal distress. IBS is still something of an enigma to researchers, so the array of current treatments is quite expansive.
This antibiotic is used to stop bacterial growth. This can help treat a range of disorders. For example, Rifaximin is often used to help lessen the suffering associated with liver disease.
For IBS, Rifaximin works by reducing the bacteria which contribute to diarrhea. Patients suffering from IBS-D (IBS with diarrhea) often experience a reduction in gut pain after starting a course of Rifaximin.
Rifaximin is a tablet you take orally. The dosage schedule does differ depending on the reason you’re taking Rifaximin. For IBS-D, a typical course of treatment is one 550mg tablet, three times per day, for 14 days. Your doctor will be able to help you determine how best to use Rifaximin for your unique symptoms.
Rifaximin is a newer drug, so there are no generic alternatives available at this time. This, unfortunately, does mean it is an expensive treatment. The average retail price for 42 550mg tablets, one full course of treatment, can be as high as $2,300.
Tricyclic Antidepressant Cost
Tricyclic antidepressants can also be used to treat the symptoms of IBS. This treatment, again, may seem a little out of left field. So far, we’ve discussed anticholinergics, antibiotics, and antidepressants to treat this disorder. It may seem like an odd combination, but they each have a valid place in IBS treatment.
While tricyclic antidepressants (or TCAs) are often used to help patients who require support for their mental health, a common side effect of these medications is an overall slowdown of gut motility. For those who have normal bowel movements, this would be a negative side effect. This is a definite perk for those who experience IBS-D, or frequent and often watery or loose stools.
Your doctor can assess your symptoms and match you with an effective TCA. One meta-analysis discussing the efficacy of these drugs to treat IBS recommended using a TCA with as few side effects as possible, such as doxepin or desipramine.
The most common TCA used to treat IBS is Elavil (or its generic alternative, amitriptyline). This is an oral medication. Depending on your dosage, you may take one tablet one to four times a day. Many patients who take Elavil recommend taking it close to bedtime, as it may make you drowsy.
It’s a relatively affordable drug, currently only available in a generic form. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy 84 tablets of Elavil for $24.00, or approximately $0.28 per pill.
Linzess Cost (Also called Constella)
Linzess (linaclotide) is a medication used to treat IBS when it presents with constipation instead of diarrhea. It works by increasing the amount of fluid in the colon, which can help move things along faster. As a result of taking Linzess, those suffering from constipation can experience more frequent bowel movements (and timely relief).
As you and your doctor work towards your optimal dosage amount and schedule, you may experience diarrhea or frequent stools. This isn’t a sign Linzess isn’t working. Instead, it may be a sign to reduce your dosage.
Occasionally, those who take Linzess may experience stomach upset, belly fullness, or even sinus infections. If you begin to pass bright red stools or dark, tarry stools, speak with your doctor immediately.
Linzess is an oral capsule you take on an empty stomach, once daily, before eating your first meal of the day. It’s generally meant for adults over the age of 18.
In the United States, you can find Linzess easily—but you should be prepared to pay a high price. Although Linzess is very popular, it’s still expensive, and there is no generic equivalent. You should expect to pay $525.00 for a 30-capsule, 30-day supply. Instead — and for 71% savings — you can buy the same quantity of Linzess for $150.00 at NorthWestPharmacy.com.
Amitiza Cost (Lubiprostone)
Amitiza (lubiprostone) is a chloride channel activator. Patients who experience frequent constipation may find relief after use of this prescription medication since Amitiza helps increase fluid release into blocked-up intestines. Higher amounts of liquid can result in softened stool, which can in turn decrease the lengthened transit time associated with constipation.
Amitiza works locally, which can also reduce the likelihood of side effects experienced elsewhere in the body.
While Amitiza and Linzess both help relieve constipation through intestinal fluid increases, they do so by a different mechanism of action. Each medication triggers different channels or chemical messengers associated with fluid secretion.
In addition, where Linzess is taken once daily, a typical Amitiza treatment regimen includes twice-daily oral capsules.
Finally, Amitiza is currently only approved to treat women over the age of 18. Therefore, younger women or men will need to look elsewhere for their IBS or chronic constipation treatment.
In the United States, you can purchase 60 capsules (or a one-month supply) of Amitiza for just under $440.00.
Alternatively, you can buy a similar amount of brand-name Amitiza (56 capsules) at NorthWestPharmacy.com for $424.00. For a savings of over 70%, you can also purchase a month’s supply of generic lubiprostone at NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $120.00.
Zelnorm Cost (Tagaserod)
Zelnorm (tagaserod) works a bit differently from the other IBS-C (constipation-reducing) treatments we’ve outlined. It signals to serotonin receptors in your intestines, which can help relax your muscles in the area. Zelnorm can also decrease pain signaling. As a result, your intestinal tract may more readily contract, increasing the frequency and comfortability of your bowel movements.
Zelnorm has been taken on and off the market a few times since it first debuted as an IBS treatment. It’s currently approved for women under the age of 65 who don’t have any cardiovascular risk. If you don’t fit this category, you’ll need to use one of the other options for treating chronic constipation, such as Amitiza or Linzess.
Typically, women who take Zelnorm take one capsule orally, twice daily. Zelnorm is a fairly expensive treatment option. In the United States, you’ll pay around $470.00 for a pack of 60 6mg capsules.
Types of IBS and Various Treatments
There are four types of IBS, each of which presents in a slightly different way and has different options for treatment. The “C” in IBS-C stands for constipation — the predominant symptom for this form of IBS.
However, constipation may not be the only symptom. IBS-C patients may also experience abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel function.
As many as 11.5 million adults in the United States have IBS-C. Medications that help treat IBS-C generally tend to concentrate on reducing the discomfort associated with constipation. These include Linzess, Amitiza, and Zelnorm.
On the other end of the IBS spectrum is IBS-D, or IBS presenting with bouts of diarrhea. With IBS-D, a certain proportion of a patient’s stools (e.g., greater than 50%) are loose or watery. In other situations, IBS-D may result in extremely frequent or unpredictable bowel movements, which can reduce a patient’s ability to plan outings and enjoy their daily routines.
In a recent meta-analysis delving into the prevalence of IBS in the United States, IBS-D was found to occur the most frequently — accounting for 40% of the patient population. Prescription medications for IBS-D in particular include Bentyl, Rifaximin, and some tricyclic antidepressants.
IBS doesn’t always pick a lane, unfortunately. Often, patients will experience a range of symptoms associated with IBS, including both constipation and diarrhea. This flip-flopping is more common than you may think.
In another study probing the different ways in which IBS presents, IBS-M was the most common classification, affecting 44.1% of the IBS patients identified in the study.
The medications that IBS-M patients use to alleviate their symptoms may depend on their daily experience of the disease. For example, they may need to keep constipation medications like Linzess as well as diarrhea medications like Bentyl on hand.
Patients with IBS-Unsubtyped, or IBS-U, experience a stool consistency that doesn’t meet the criteria for any of the other subtypes. It may look like a less chronic version of IBS-M. An IBS-U patient may experience loose or watery stool and hard, uncomfortable stool, but these atypical bowel movements added together should only occur less than 25% of the time.
Much like IBS-M, treatment of this type of IBS-U is likely based on the predominant symptoms a specific patient experiences — often on a day-to-day basis.
To pursue a more forward-thinking method of treatment, it’s necessary to dive into sufficient IBS testing.
The Importance of Proper Testing
Unfortunately, the symptoms associated with IBS can be nebulous. There can also be a tendency — in patients and doctors alike — to downplay or even disregard chronic discomfort. Working towards an accurate and precise diagnosis can require a lot of work, testing, and critical thinking.
Currently, there is no biological marker that can be consistently tested to confirm IBS. Researchers are currently working to find this, as it would make it a lot easier to diagnose IBS accurately.
One diagnostic tactic that may carry weight is the use of a full family medical history. IBS tends to aggregate in families. People who have a relative with IBS may be up to two to three times likely to contract the condition as well. However, this genetic connection is far from consistent.
Additionally, there are a bewildering array of lifestyle factors that seem to trigger or exacerbate symptoms of IBS, which can make it difficult to land on a diagnosis or a consistent plan of treatment. This makes having go-to medication a necessity for those suffering from IBS.
Are You Ready to Order Your Medication?
If you or a loved one is among the millions of Americans suffering from IBS, frequent diarrhea, or chronic constipation, you need access to an affordable solution to manage your symptoms. Unfortunately, the lack of prescription drug price regulation in the United States is making it more and more difficult for many Americans to afford necessary medication.
International online pharmacies offer the same brand-name prescription medications at a fraction of the cost in the United States. Moreover, with the robust safety systems, these online international pharmacies have in place, consumers can be confident they’re getting professional assistance to manage their chronic conditions.
NorthWestPharmacy.com is an online Canadian drugs site and international prescription drugs vendor offering hundreds of medications at the lowest possible price, including non-prescription drugs and pet meds. Our goal is to be a one-stop-shop so we can save you time and money, too. We’ll even ship your meds straight to your door.
Give us a call at 1-866-539-5330 today, and one of our friendly, knowledgeable customer service representatives will help you promptly. Alternatively, contact us online, or simply browse our offerings of low-cost IBS medications today to find the relief you need.