Learn the Terms: Antispasmodic

What is an Antispasmodic?

An antispasmodic is a characteristic of a prescription drug or medication used to relieve an involuntary muscle spasm or contraction, as well as various other medical conditions including overactive bladder, breathing problems, digestive issues, gastrointestinal cramps, movement disorders, and others.

Antispasmodic agents are taken with the intention to soothe the body's tubular organs, especially the intestines, and promote muscle relaxation, although there are a few different varieties of antispasmodic effects. There are pharmaceutical drugs as well as natural remedies available.

Antispasmodic drugs can cause adverse reactions that are known to worsen the condition gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux). Even natural remedies could have side effects; always consult a medical professional before prolonged use of any supplement to treat any condition.

Antispasmodic Cheatsheet

Types of antispasmodics:

  • Muscolotropic Spasmolytic: Uses selective action to directly target the colon and lower intestines and smooth muscle spasm of the gastrointestinal tract (colon)

  • Papaverine: An opium alkaloid drug primarily used to treat visceral spasm and vasospasm (intestines, heart, brain), as well as erectile dysfunction

  • Anticholinergic: Inhibits parasympathetic nerve impulses (involuntary movement) by blocking the binding of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to its receptor in nerve cells
  • Uses for antispasmodics:

  • Relieving muscle cramps/spasms of:
      1. Stomach
      2. Intestines
      3. Bladder
    • Preventing symptoms such as:
        1. Nausea
        2. Vomiting
        3. Motion Sickness
      • Other uses of antispasmodics:
          1. Poisoning caused by medicine
          2. Painful menstruation
          3. Runny nose

            Natural Antispasmodics

          1. Peppermint Oil: Traditionally used to treat symptoms of IBS and as an antispasmodic when applied topically to the intestine during an endoscopy

          2. Bamboo Shoots: Used for gastrointestinal and antispasmodic symptoms both traditionally and modernly

          3. Natural remedies may be effective in the treatment of various ailments, but you should always consult with your doctor first. If you suspect you may have a health condition or require medical attention, please contact your healthcare provider right away.

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