Antispasmodic

The results from a randomised double-blind, double-dummy, controlled trial suggest that the antispasmodic properties of peppermint oil can be utilised intraluminally during upper endoscopy with superior efficacy and fewer side-effects than hyoscine-N-butylbromide (buscopan) administered by intramuscular injection (Hiki et al 2003a, b). The use of peppermint oil solution was subsequently used to successfully extend an endoscope past an area of severe antral stenosis in a case that was unresponsive to buscopan. In a further study of 383 patients receiving double-contrast barium enemas, which compared peppermint oil in the barium, peppermint in the enema tube, buscopan and no treatment, found that peppermint oil in the barium or the enema tube could be safely and effectively used instead of buscopan and that the oil had a stronger antispasmodic effect in the caecum and the ascending colon than a buscopan injection (Asao et al 2003).

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