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Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) in abdominal colic
  1. K Mackway-Jones, Consultant,
  2. S Teece, Clinical Research Fellow
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; kevin.mackway-jones{at}


    A short cut review was carried out to establish whether buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) is better than analgesics at controlling pain in abdominal colic. A total of 31 papers were found using the reported search, of which none presented any evidence to answer the clinical question. It is concluded that there is no evidence available to answer this question. Further research is needed.

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    Report by K Mackway-Jones,ConsultantChecked by S Teece, Clinical Research Fellow

    Clinical scenario

    A 38 year old man presents to the emergency department with moderate to severe non-specific abdominal pain that is colicy in nature. He has no significant past history. Examination reveals mild tenderness but no signs of peritonism. Oral analgesia seems unlikely to control his pain. You speak to a colleague who suggests that you use buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide)—an antispasmodic. You wonder if there is any evidence that this works.

    Three part question

    In [a patient with colicy abdominal pain] is [buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) better than analgesics] at [controlling pain]?

    Search strategy

    Medline 1966–02/03 using the OVID interface. [exp abdominal pain OR (abdominal adj5 pain).af OR (stomach adj5 ache).af OR exp abdomen, actue OR {(abdom$.af OR OR OR AND (exp pain OR OR OR exp colic OR colic$.af OR}] AND [exp butylscopolammonium bromide OR OR OR exp scopolamine OR OR OR exp scopolamine derivatives OR] LIMIT to human AND English.

    Search outcome

    Altogether 31 papers were found of which none were relevant.


    There is very little research into the effects of buscopan on any form of pain.

    Clinical bottom line

    There is no evidence supporting the use of buscopan in non-specific abdominal pain.

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