Donnatal is a proprietary combination medication for the treatment of intestinal cramping due to various causes, often administered as part of a GI Cocktail[1]. 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 being found in plants of the datura variety, a deliriant sometimes used recreationally, though the experience is often considered unpleasant.

The use of the drug is somewhat controversial[citation needed] as some medical authorities[who?] believe that single drugs work either better or more safely than fixed combinations, and some[who?] have criticized the inclusion of phenobarbital in this type of drug. Recent clinical trials showed that Donnatal was no more effective than plain antacid in relieving the symptoms of dyspepsia.[1][2] The medication has been marketed for decades. As such, its use has continued.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Berman DA, Porter RS, Graber M (2003). [Expression error: Missing operand for > "The GI Cocktail is no more effective than plain liquid antacid: a randomized, double blind clinical trial"]. J Emerg Med 25 (3): 239–44. doi:10.1016/S0736-4679(03)00196-3. PMID 14585449. 
  2. Bowman J, Jones J (2006). "Towards evidence-based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Use of lidocaine in the gastrointestinal cocktail for the treatment of dyspepsia". Emerg Med J 23 (11): 873–4. doi:10.1136/emj.2006.042168. PMID 17057145. PMC 2464394. 

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