Begin main content

Dicyclomine for Gastrointestinal Conditions: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness, Safety, and Guidelines

Last updated: December 3, 2015
Project Number: RC0723-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Drug
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness and safety of dicyclomine for gastrointestinal tract conditions involving smooth muscle spasm?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines for the use of dicyclomine for gastrointestinal conditions?

Key Message

Recent evidence on the use of dicyclomine for GI tract conditions involving smooth muscle spasm is lacking. A limited amount of evidence published before 2005, identified in selected guidelines, has shown that dicyclomine is superior to placebo in improving IBS global assessment, and leads to more adverse events. Guidelines based on this evidence have recommended dicyclomine as a pharmacological treatment of IBS, as well as other antispasmodics such as mebeverine and alverine citrate. The recommendation was considered by the authors to be definitive based on low-quality evidence with uncertain trade-offs between benefits and harms.