What you need to know about levsin (hyoscyamine)


Levsin (hyoscyamine) is classified as an anticholinergic sedative. It is a combination of two drugs: belladonna alkaloids and barbiturates.

Levsin (also known by the brand name Anaspaz) is prescribed by a doctor to relax the muscles of the bladder and intestines and to reduce the acidity of gastric juice. It is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) , diverticulosis , and bladder spasms.

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How to take Levsin

Levsin should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals .

It should never be taken at the same time as antacids (such as Tooms or Rolaids) because these medications can reduce the absorption of Levsin.

Wait at least one hour after taking Levsin before taking antacids.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss an appointment, take it as soon as you remember. If you have to take your next dose soon, just take that dose. Do not double your dose or take more than one dose at a time.

For those who should not take levsin

Before taking Levsin, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • Asthma, emphysema, or chronic lung disease
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Down's Syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Enlarged prostate (BPH)
  • Severe ulcerative colitis with stool disruption.

Levsin side effects

The most common side effects of Levsin include headache, nausea, constipation, rash, and vomiting.

Levsin can reduce the amount of sweating your body produces, so it is important to drink enough water while taking the medication, especially in hot weather or during exercise.

If you have dry eyes or wear contact lenses, you may need to increase the number of moisturizing drops.

Levsin can cause serious side effects such as confusion, blurred vision, difficulty urinating, and decreased sweating. If these symptoms appear after taking Levin, see your doctor immediately.

Drug interactions

Levsin can interact with several different classes of medications. Your healthcare provider should know about all other drugs and supplements (including over-the-counter drugs and vitamins) that you are taking.

The following medications may interact with Levsin:

  • Antacids
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Amantadine
  • Heart rate regulators
  • Cimetidine
  • Digoxin
  • Metoclopramide
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
  • Potassium chloride
  • Prednisone
  • Sedatives
  • Thiazide diuretics

Food interactions

Do not drink alcohol if you are taking Levsin. Alcohol increases the sedative effect of the drug. You should also avoid drinking alcohol from unforeseen sources, such as over-the-counter cough suppressants and cold remedies like Nyquil.

Levsin can cause constipation. A high fiber diet and drinking plenty of water can help maintain normal bowel function while taking the medicine.

Safety during pregnancy

There is not enough research to determine whether it is safe to take Levsin during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The drug crosses the placenta and can pass into breast milk.

Although the belladonna component has not been shown to cause side effects in pregnant women, some barbiturates can increase the risk of bleeding and birth defects in newborns.

Levsin should be used during pregnancy only if absolutely necessary. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Levsin. The potential for serious side effects in the baby must be weighed against the benefit of the drug to the mother.

Sexual side effects

Levsin is associated with erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. Levsin can also suppress breast milk production in nursing mothers.

Get the word of drug information

Levsin is one of the many medications used to treat IBS. This can be helpful for some people with IBS, but precautions must be taken. People taking Levsin should avoid drinking alcohol and inform their doctor of all medications and supplements they are taking, as some of them may interact with Levsin.

Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Levsin. Although it is not clear how the drug might affect breastfeeding, your healthcare provider may recommend that you avoid taking the drug if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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