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Is alprazolam prescribed for irritable bowel syndrome?

Q: I have been prescribed Alprazolam 1 mg tablet before bedtime due to my irritable bowel condition. I have learnt that this drug is habit-forming and should be quickly discontiued. Valerian is supposed to be a better alternative. Which company is making this in India and what is the medical name for the drug?

A:Alprazolam is certainly habit-forming. Besides, it is not the drug of choice for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I do not know for how long you have been taking this drug. You should shift to a slow release formulation of alprazolam called Alprocontin 1mg for about 5 days, then take half tablet for another 10 days and then stop. In the event of diagnosis of IBS being correct, we use bulking agents, antidiarrhoeals, prokinetic agents (such as metoclopramide) and tricyclic antidepressants (more for their ability to increase pain threshold rather than psychiatric effect) in addition to advice on diet. Valerian is a herbal sedative sold under the brand name of Vitaplex in Australia. We are unable to give advice on alternative systems of medicines.


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