Drugs Q & A

Is Buscopan Available Over The Counter In Ireland?

Buscopan (Hyoscine butylbromide) belongs to the group of medications called antispasmodics. It is used to relieve smooth muscle spasms (cramps) in the stomach and intestines and in the bladder and urethra. Hyoscine reduces spasms by relaxing smooth muscles within the stomach, intestines, bladder and urethra. The injection form is used to relieve these same types of muscles spasms that might occur during diagnostic procedures.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Each round, white, sugar-coated tablet contains 10 mg of hyoscine butylbromide. Nonmedicinal ingredients: acacia, anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate, carnauba wax, colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, modified starch, polyethylene glycol 6000, povidone, stearic acid, sucrose, talc, tartaric acid, titanium dioxide, and white wax.


Each mL contains 20 mg of hyoscine butylbromide. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium chloride and water for injection.

Why is Buscopan banned in America?

Although widely available in the UK and many other countries, Buscopan was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1977 for causing a blood cancer-like effect on roughly one out of 30,000 consumers. Trials showed that the drug destroys white blood cells, thus decreasing human immunity against diseases and infections.

Is Buscopan available over the counter in Ireland?

Yes, you can get Buscopan over the counter in Irelend. The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the Irish regulatory agency that oversees medicines, medical devices and other health products.  In Ireland and many countries, Buscopan can be purchased over the counter or online after completing medicine form. Even for prescription medication, patients no longer have to present a paper script to their pharmacist to get a prescription under a new statutory instrument. Pharmacists will be given discretion to carry on a repeat prescription for a patient even if that patient has not got a new script.

However in the United Kingdom, Buscopan comes on prescription and as 2 different products (Buscopan IBS Relief and Buscopan Cramps) that you can buy from a pharmacy or shop. If you’re self-treating with Buscopan, do not take it for longer than 2 weeks without checking with a doctor.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

•          blurred vision that is temporary

•          constipation

•          decreased ability to sweat

•          diarrhea

•          dizziness

•          dry mouth

•          fast heartbeat

•          flushing

•          nausea

Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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