Mebeverine is used to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Medicine for stomach cramps
  • Colofac®

What is mebeverine?

Mebeverine is used to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as abdominal (tummy) pain and cramps, diarrhoea (runny poos), constipation and flatulence (farting).

Mebeverine relaxes the tummy muscles and in this way helps to ease bloating and the spasm-type pain that can occur with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Read more about irritable bowel syndrome

In New Zealand, mebeverine is available as tablets and is only available on prescription from your doctor. 


  • The usual dose of mebeverine is 1 tablet 3 times a day. 
  • It is generally recommended that you take mebeverine only when necessary. Start taking it when your symptoms flare up and continue to take it until you feel better. Stop taking it when your symptoms settle down again (this is usually within a week or two). 
  • Always take mebeverine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take mebeverine

  • Mebeverine is best taken 20 minutes before a meal.
  • Swallow the tablets with a glass of water.
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose

Precautions before taking mebeverine

  • Have you ever had problems with your bowel (such as bowel obstruction)?
  • Do you have problems with your heart such as a fast heart rate?
  • Do you have problems with your kidneys or liver?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Are you taking or using any other medicines? This includes any medicines being taken which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking mebeverine. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

What are the side effects of mebeverine?

Like all medicines, mebeverine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling unwell
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of your lips, face and mouth, or difficulty breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone HealthLine 0800 611 116
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product


Mebeverine can interact with some medicines and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting mebeverine or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

The following links have more information on mebeverine
Colofac Medsafe Patient Information


  1. Mebeverine hydrochloride New Zealand Formulary
  2. Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: not just a gut feeling BPAC, 2014
Credits: Sandra Ponen. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 16 May 2019