Donnatal is a proprietary combination medication for the treatment of intestinal cramping due to various causes, often administered as part of a GI cocktail. It is classed as an anticholinergic antispasmodic drug. Donnatal is marketed by PBM Pharmaceuticals. It is available as tablets, capsules, extended release tablets and elixir. Active ingredients are listed as: phenobarbital, hyoscyamine, atropine and scopolamine. The latter three ingredients are found in plants of the Solanaceae family.
Recent clinical trials showed that Donnatal was no more effective than plain antacid in relieving the symptoms of dyspepsia. However, the active ingredients in Donnatal® have been shown to be more effective than placebo in treating moderately severe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
It is also a common component of a GI cocktail used in emergency rooms. In 1976, Donnatal was one of the 25 most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S. It has since been displaced by H2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors, which are more effective and lack many of the adverse effects of phenobarbital.
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