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This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, and should not be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

The Basics of Your Medications

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued valuable guidelines on effectively managing the medication aspects of short bowel syndrome. Administering medications for this condition involves more than just swallowing a pill; it requires careful consideration of various steps and decisions each day. AHRQ advises patients with short bowel syndrome to actively participate in treatment decisions. Asking questions early on can help prevent concerns or problems later. Here are some key points to address each time a new medication is prescribed:

  1. Inquire about all aspects of your treatment, encompassing diet changes, exercise, and medications.
  2. Ask about the risks and benefits of each prescribed medicine or other treatments.
  3. Inquire about the frequency of monitoring for side effects related to a specific medication.

Don’t hesitate to communicate your priorities regarding your medications. Whether it’s minimizing side effects, determining daily doses, considering costs, or understanding the impact on your lifestyle, expressing your concerns is crucial. Patients may request a particular medication based on success stories or recommendations from their healthcare provider.

Don’t be hesitant to discuss your worries or questions about medications for short bowel syndrome with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. These healthcare professionals can assist you in comprehending your treatment plan. Discussing options with a family member or friend, especially when you’re not feeling well, can help you make informed choices.

When consulting with your healthcare provider, specifically ask about:

  1. The medication’s name and purpose.
  2. How and when to take the medication, including dosage and duration.
  3. Restrictions on food, drinks, other medications, or activities while taking the new medication.
  4. Possible side effects and what steps to take if they occur.
  5. Refill options and frequency.
  6. What to do if you miss a dose.
  7. Request written information to take home.

Providing your healthcare provider with a comprehensive list of all current medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs unrelated to short bowel syndrome, is crucial. This ensures that potential interactions are considered. Include the name, purpose, dosage, and timing for each medication, both prescription and over-the-counter.

Explore Pharmacopeia, a user-friendly and cost-free tool that encompasses information on more than 9,000 prescription and over-the-counter medications. Access the database here. Prior to utilizing the information, carefully review the disclaimer. It’s essential to consult your physician and healthcare team before implementing any changes. Please note that the information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes.

Short Bowel Syndrome Drugs & Information

In the context of Short Bowel Syndrome, antibiotics are judiciously employed to mitigate small-bowel bacterial overgrowth, administered on a weekly to bi-weekly schedule to deter bacterial resistance. Commonly used antibiotics include Metronidazole (Flagyl), Gentamicin (Garamycin, Gentacidin), and Vancomycin (Vancocin). Additionally, H2 blockers, such as Ranitidine (Zantac), and proton pump inhibitors like Omeprazole (Prilosec), serve as treatment modalities for gastric acid hypersecretion.

Choleretic agents, including Ursodiol (Actigall, Urso) and Phenobarbital (Barbita, Luminal, Solfoton), enhance biliary flow and safeguard against Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)-induced liver disease. Bile salt binders like Cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran) alleviate choleretic diarrhea. Antisecretin agents, exemplified by Octreotide (Sandostatin), assist in reducing intestinal secretions, while hypomotility agents like Loperamide (Imodium, Kaopectate) aim to enhance intestinal transit time.

It is crucial to be aware of contraindications and interactions with medications used in the treatment of SBS. Some medications may pose risks due to contraindications or side effects. Patients should consult their physicians regarding potential contraindications, especially in conjunction with other medications used for common ailments.

Patients should be vigilant about drug-drug interactions, as these can lead to unexpected side effects, reduced efficacy, or increased drug activity. Reading and understanding medication labels, which include warnings about possible drug interactions, is essential. Labels may change, necessitating regular reviews. When prescribed a new drug, discuss all medications, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals, and herbals with your healthcare provider. Pharmacists can provide additional information through package inserts.

A final caution from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emphasizes skepticism towards claims of secret formulas, miraculous cures, and guaranteed outcomes. Patients are advised to verify the credibility of such claims and seek information from reliable sources. The FDA can be contacted through their toll-free number at 1-888-463-6332 or their website at for inquiries about medical treatments. Always exercise caution and consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice based on individual health conditions.

Contraindications and Interactions

Some of the mentioned medications can pose challenges for individuals with short bowel syndrome. The concern lies not in their intended use for treatment, but rather in potential contraindications and side effects. Medications with contraindications may react adversely with drugs prescribed for short bowel syndrome or lead to harmful side effects in patients with this condition. It’s advisable to consult your physician about any contraindications, especially concerning other medications you may be taking for common ailments. Drug-drug interactions occur when multiple drugs react with each other, possibly resulting in unexpected side effects. These interactions can diminish the effectiveness of medications, trigger unforeseen side effects, or intensify the effects of a particular drug. Some interactions may even pose harm to your health. It is important to always read the label when using nonprescription or prescription drugs, taking the time to comprehend the information provided. Labels include warnings about potential drug interactions, and it’s crucial to stay informed as labels may change with new information. Before starting a new medication, discuss with your doctor all over-the-counter and prescription medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals, and herbals you are currently using, along with details about your diet. Additionally, ask your pharmacist for the package insert for each prescription drug to obtain more information about potential drug interactions.

A Final Note on Medications from the FDA

The FDA advises patients to be cautious of:

  1. Secret Formulas (authentic scientists openly share their knowledge)
  2. Amazing breakthroughs or miracle cures (genuine breakthroughs are rare, and real scientists avoid extravagant terms)
  3. Quick, painless, or guaranteed cures
  4. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely isn’t true.

The Food and Drug Administration is the official U.S. agency responsible for determining the effectiveness of medications in improving the health of patients with various medical conditions. If you have any inquiries about medical treatments, you can find a nearby FDA office listed in the yellow pages of the phone book. Alternatively, you can reach the FDA through their toll-free number at 1-888-463-6332 or visit their website at