IBS and antihistamines: Hi guys, I suffer from... - IBS Network

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IBS and antihistamines


Hi guys, I suffer from IBS from anxiety and stress, I have been reading on the internet for a while that some have used antihistamines to get better, have any of you tried?

18 Replies

I've heard they can help but I've never tried them.. You will only know for sure if you give them a go.

erikette in reply to Hidden

thank you

JP1954 in reply to Hidden

I do take a spoonful of Silicol gel which I find of great help. Have heard of antihistamines helping but again if your IBS is anxiety led then that would be my first port of call to control that as much as possible. I know easier said than done but you maybe surprised what simple techniques may benefit you.

Hidden in reply to JP1954

Mine is under control so I'm ok

I will take note of your suggestions though.

Thank you.

erikette in reply to JP1954

do you take silicol gel and combine it with any diet or do you eat what you want?

Antihistamines tend to dry out your system so can be good for IBS(D).

erikette in reply to Maureen1958


Maureen1958 in reply to erikette

Be careful with them. Just take one and see how it goes. I am allergic to insect bites so I have to take one as soon as I am bitten. But then I can end up constipated. The ones I take are Piriton.

erikette in reply to Maureen1958

yes maybe i will try it, thanks a lot!

Hi, I've had IBS for many years and was put on really strong antihistamines for an allergic skin condition. I was on them 18 months and they didn't add affect my IBS at all. I eventually stopped them because they made me feel a little bit sick. Since stopping them my IBS has actually been much better. So, I personally wouldn't recommend them as a treatment for IBS. I tried Silicol Gel and it caused me agonising stomach cramp. Won't go there again!

I did some research into Ebastine which is an antihistamine which has been studied in relation to IBS, which you might have found yourself. Here are my findings:



they hypothesized that mast cell products such as histamine and serotonin, which have been linked to visceral hypersensitivity,

may serve as alternative mediators of TRPV-1 sensitization. Ebastine resulted in an increased proportion of patients with at least considerable relief at week 12


Ebastine is a H1 antihistamine with low potential for causing drowsiness.

It does not penetrate the blood–brain barrier to a significant amount and thus combines an effective block of the H1 receptor in peripheral tissue with a

low incidence of central side effects, i.e. seldom causing sedation or drowsiness.

Ebastine has a favourable safety profile


Ebastine - once-daily, non-sedating, selective, long-acting, second-generation antihistamine - usually well tolerared


don't mix with antidepressants




Safety: Headache, nausea, tiredness, and dry mouth are the most frequently reported adverse events on ebastine treatment but their incidence was similar to placebo-treated patients with seasonal and perennial rhinitis in 3 randomized, double-blind, multicenter clinical trials

My gastro said that he'd never heard of it, so it wasn't offered to me


•Pros: Low potential for drowsiness, good safety profile, study: considerable pain relief at week 12

•Cons: Headache, nausea, tiredness, and dry mouth – must not be mixed with antidepressants

My view is that if there is something in your gut that is causing these sensitivities, isn't it best to try to tackle what is causing sensitivities rather than taking a drug that just deals with the symptoms? Potentially, some form of gut bacterial imbalance or infection is the source. I take Alflorex probiotic which has been scientifically studied for IBS, which helps to shift this balance and crowd out bad bugs. My IBS is much improved since taking it.

Here is some information about IBS that I have shared with others in this group in case any of these tips are of interest to you (apologies for any repetition from the above):

IBS can be due to a number or combination of factors - these can be stress (including stress from early life experiences) which impacts the communication between the brain and the digestive system. There are lots of free webinars online at the moment regarding mindfulness meditation which might help. Plus you can ask to be referred for CBT or something similar to reduce anxiety - I would have thought online appointments are available. Exercise can play a major role in IBS in terms of reducing stress, helping your gut microbiome and regulating bowel movements.

There is also not absorbing certain types of carbohydrates called FODMAPs very well, the residue ending up in the colon and bacteria feeding off them causing symptoms. Ordinarily feeding gut bacteria is a really good thing - when you feed good gut bacteria these produce by-products that have great health effects in the gut and throughout the body. However, in some people with IBS bad bugs might have the upper hand over good - these bad bugs may cause symptoms such as excess gas, pain or disordered bowel movements. There is an interesting infographic on this here:


This is why it’s worth trying probiotics such as Alflorex (which has been scientifically studied for IBS) to crowd out the bad bugs and make their numbers die down. If that doesn't work you can try the FODMAP elimination and reintroduction diet. This is normally under the guidance of a nutritionist via GP referral - this may not be possible at the moment so you can read about it online. If you download the Monash University FODMAP app and Kings College fodmap apps, they will tell you which foods contain FODMAPs and in what quantities. You can eliminate all FODMAPs for 2 weeks and then introduce each type of FODMAP one at a time starting in small quantities, increasing over a 3 day period and wait up to 4 days for symptoms. I go much slower than this - only introducing a small amount (1/4 to 1/3 of a normal portion size) of the same food for 3 days and then increase if tolerable or no symptoms and cut back to the previous amount if symptoms for longer and then try to increment again . I've read your microbiome can adapt to handling a new food if introduced very slowly and your bad bugs are under control with a good probiotic. Ideally you want to eat as many FODMAPs as you can since they are good for your health. Many people with IBS don't have diverse gut bacteria - it has been found that people who lack a diverse microbiome are more prone to diseases in general. In the long run, if you can get your symptoms under control, the ideal situation is to have a very varied diet - lots of different coloured fruits and vegetables, a variety of protein and carbohydrate sources including cereal fibres. This may seem a long way off, but with the right treatment all of this is possible. The year before last all I could consume to control my IBS was white rice, protein and limited low fodmap veg. Using the approach above (particularly introducing Alflorex) I am now able to consume far more foods - more than I've ever dreamed of including wholewheat bread which is unheard of for me.

If you are also suffering from pain, you may be suffering from visceral hypersensitivity (functional abdominal pain) - there is info about it here:


It is where the brain interprets the normal activity of the bowel as pain - this is due to a wearing down of neurons in pain control centres of the brain which can be caused by PTSD, neglect or abuse in childhood, extreme stressful events etc. The first line treatment is nerve pain agents such as low dose amitriptyline. There is a theory that being on something like amitriptyline for 6-12 months can help the pain control centre neurons to regenerate. Note that amitriptyline can cause constipation, but this can be helpful in people who are diarrhea dominant. Unfortunately I couldn't tolerate these. Linaclotide (for IBS-C only) & Alflorex have helped me with this intestinal pain.

You may also find assistance with anti-spasmodic medication such as mebeverine (Colofac) or enteric coated peppermint.

You can find some info on self management here:


If all of the usual IBS remedies fail and you are experiencing diarrhea, it is worth getting tested for BAM (Bile Acid Malabsorption), which can cause constant diarrhea - there is a separate test and treatment for that. Good luck.

All I can say is I was on antihistamines a good decade before I developed IBS and I have often wondered if they contributed to the severity. Who knows? Hope you get relief soon. Con amore Bx

I already take probiotics and try to keep stress under control, I thought that antihistamines controlled stress by reading around and therefore automatically cured IBS

I have bad allergies so I take Flonase and benadryl . I still have symptoms if I have coffee etc

erikette in reply to Stacier

so they helped you a little, right?

Yes, antihistamines helps me very much. When I first tried them it was like a miracle drug for my IBS. But my body quickly became tolerate of them within 2 weeks and it didn't work anymore. I still take them occasionally when I know I'm going out somewhere.

erikette in reply to pklou

se lo interrompi per un mese o giù di lì, la tolleranza al farmaco dovrebbe tornare, allora potresti fare la `` cura '' come una settimana a intervalli, idk

I take antihistamine daily for allergies but they don’t help IBS.

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