• Before taking peppermint oil capsules for the first time, check with your doctor to make sure these capsules are right for your symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking these capsules if you are allergic to menthol, peanuts or soya.
  • If you develop any new symptoms, or if you do not improve over two weeks of treatment, consult your doctor if you have not already done so.

About peppermint oil

Type of medicine Antispasmodic
Used for Relief of cramps or spasms of the stomach or intestines
Also called Colpermin®
Available as Capsules

Peppermint oil works by acting on the muscle in the bowel wall to cause it to relax. This reduces painful cramps and muscle spasms. It is particularly useful in treating these symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and similar conditions.

Before taking peppermint oil capsules

Before taking peppermint oil capsules make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you are allergic to menthol, peanuts or soya.
  • If you are aged 40 years or over and it is some time since you last had irritable bowel syndrome, or if your symptoms have changed since last time.
  • If you have passed blood from the bowel.
  • If you feel sick, have lost weight, or have lost your appetite.
  • If you have been feeling tired, have severe constipation or a fever.
  • If you have recently travelled abroad.
  • If you have had abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • If you have experienced any difficulty or pain when passing urine.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction after taking this or any other medicine.

How to take peppermint oil capsules

  • Before taking these capsules, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
  • Take peppermint oil capsules exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. The usual dose is one or two capsules taken three times each day, about an hour before meals.
  • Swallow each capsule whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.
  • Try to take peppermint oil capsules at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Take the capsules until your symptoms improve. This is usually within a week or two, but if needed, the treatment can be continued for up to 3 months.
  • Do not take indigestion remedies at the same time of day as peppermint oil.
  • If you develop any new symptoms, if your condition worsens, or if your symptoms do not improve after two weeks of treatment, see your doctor.
  • Drinking alcohol while you are taking peppermint oil may increase the chance you experience side-effects and is therefore not recommended.

Can peppermint oil cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Possible peppermint oil side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Heartburn Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if this continues or becomes troublesome
Itching around the back passage Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if this continues or becomes troublesome

Very occasionally people can have an allergic reaction to peppermint oil. Signs of an allergic reaction are rash, headache, shaking, unsteadiness and a slow heart rate. If you experience these or any other worrying symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store peppermint oil capsules

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.