Imodium: Medication for Diarrhea Relief
Generic Imodium is a medication used to decrease the frequency of diarrhea. You can buy this medication over the counter
When to take this drug?
The medicine is used in the treatment of adults and children who are at least 5 years old. The drug is used to normalize stool in acute and chronic diarrhea of various etiologies, with the exception of stool disorders caused by taking antibiotics. In addition, the medicine is prescribed to patients with ileostomy to normalize stool and reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
How does Imodium help diarrhea?
What does this drug do to your body? This drug belongs to the group of antidiarrheal drugs that inhibit intestinal peristalsis.
The active ingredient of the drug, loperamide hydrochloride, is able to bind to receptors in the intestinal walls, as a result of which its peristalsis is inhibited.
The action of the drug entails an increase in the intestinal transit time, due to which the resorption of water and ionic solutions, which are responsible for the transmission of impulses – electrolytes, increases.
Loperamide does not have a central effect on the body, does not lead to changes in the physiological microflora in the intestine or an increase in the tone of the anus sphincter. As a result, the urge to defecate decreases.
How fast does it work?
The drug usually starts to work within 1 hour to make your diarrhea better. How long does the treatment last? Most people only need to take this drug for 1 to 2 days. You may need to take it for longer if your diarrhea is caused by a bowel problem such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or short bowel syndrome.
How much Imodium do I take?
The dosage and duration of treatment are selected by the doctor individually, taking into account the severity of the disease. One tablet usually contains 2mg of loperamide.
In the treatment of chronic and acute diarrhea, adult patients receive 2 capsules per dose, children over five years of age are prescribed 1 capsule per dose. When choosing a maintenance dosage, the frequency of bowel movements should not exceed 1 or 2 times per day, but the patient should not take more than 6 capsules per day.
The maximum daily dose for adults is 8 capsules, for children – 3 capsules. In the absence of a pronounced therapeutic effect after 48 hours of treatment, stop using the drug and consult a doctor.
Can I give Imodium to my child?
Younger children (aged 2–5 years) should only take the liquid form of loperamide. Children older than 6 years may take capsules or tablets as well. If your child can’t swallow a capsule, you can open it and sprinkle the medicine on food.
The dosage of loperamide that you give your child should be based on your child’s weight or age. You can use the following table to select a dose, but it’s better to ask your pharmacist or doctor for a specific dosage.
||Dosage for tablet or capsule||Dosage for liquid|
|2–5 years||13–20 kg||Not applicable||7.5 mL (1½ teaspoons) after first loose stool Do not give more than 22.5 mL (4½ teaspoons)|
|6–8 years||20–30 kg||2 mg given two times per day||15 mL (3 teaspoons) after first loose stool 7.5 mL (1½ teaspoons) after each following loose stool Do not give more than 30 mL (6 teaspoons) in 24 hours|
|8–12 years||heavier than 30 kg||2 mg given three times per day||15 mL (3 teaspoons) after first loose stool 7.5 mL (1½ teaspoons) after each following loose stool Do not give more than 45 mL (9 teaspoons) in 24 hours.|
|12–17 years||heavier than 30 kg||4 mg given two times per day or 2 mg given four times per day||30 mL (6 teaspoons) after the first loose stool 15 mL (3 teaspoons) after each following loose stool Do not give more than 60 mL (12 teaspoons) in 24 hours.|
Can you overdose this medicine?
For acute poisoning with loperamide, the patient develops depression of the central nervous system, impaired coordination of movements, increased drowsiness, respiratory depression, seizures and loss of consciousness.
In case of an overdose, naloxone is prescribed as an antidote.
When should you not take Imodium?
The use of this medication is impossible if the patient is intolerant of loperamide hydrochloride. In addition, you must refuse to use the drug if you have:
- acute dysentery;
- acute ulcerative colitis;
- bacterial enterocolitis;
- pseudomembranous colitis, provoked by the intake of antibiotics;
- paralytic ileus or other pathological conditions characterized by impaired intestinal motility;
- tendency to constipation;
- lactation period;
- lactose intolerance.
Children under 6 years of age should use this medicine only under strict medical supervision.
Particular care should be taken when prescribing the drug to patients who have liver dysfunction.
Can I give my dog Imodium for diarrhea?
This medication can be used to treat diarrhea in dogs. It works by increasing the tone of the anal sphincter, reducing fecal incontinence and the urge to defecate. The drug acts directly on the intestinal wall to keep the absorption of water and electrolytes under control and to prevent excessive waste from entering the digestive tract. When waste passes through the gastrointestinal tract too quickly, the intestines do not have enough time to properly absorb fluids leading to watery stools.
The medicine is used to normalize stools and treat acute and chronic diarrhea caused by irritable bowel syndrome.
This medication should not be given to pregnant, lactating dogs, or puppies under 6 weeks of age. If the diarrhea is caused by a toxic substance, using loperamide can prevent it from being removed from the body, but it can lead to a number of problems.
For safe treatment, we recommend the following rules of use:
- check with your veterinarian before using the medication;
- tell your veterinarian about any other medical conditions your pet is suffering from;
- tell your veterinarian about any other medications or supplements the animal is taking;
- ensure adequate drinking regime to replace fluid loss and prevent dehydration;
- provide the dog with soft foods such as plain rice and boiled chicken;
- contact your veterinarian if symptoms have not improved after 2 days, do not continue treatment for more than 5 days.
It is especially important to provide sufficient water and essential minerals until the symptoms of diarrhea disappear.
How much Imodium can I give my dog?
Like all medicines in veterinary medicine, this drug is given to the dog in a dosage corresponding to the dog’s body weight. No more than 0.2 milligrams of loperamide should be given for one kilogram of animal weight.
Important! Only a veterinarian can accurately weigh the dog and prescribe the drug!
Can I take it during pregnancy?
The use of this medicine in the therapy of pregnant women is possible only under medical supervision. If it is necessary to use loperamide medication in the treatment of women at the lactation stage, breastfeeding should be discontinued.
Can Imodium cause side effects?
Therapy with this drug rarely causes adverse reactions, even with prolonged use. In rare cases, the following adverse reactions have been observed:
- rash, bullous rash, allergic urticaria, anaphylactic shock;
- toxic epidermal necrolysis;
- constipation, bloating, flatulence;
- dry mouth, urinary retention;
- stupor, miosis, increased fatigue.
If constipation occurs, the drug must be stopped immediately.
Does it interact with any medication?
It is dangerous to combine loperamide with drugs that have an effect on the central nervous system. When using the medicine in kids, the individual characteristics of the patient, his/her body weight, the severity of diarrhea should be taken into account. Children and the elderly are advised to get a doctor’s prescription. The simultaneous use of loperamide and drugs capable of producing P-glycoprotein blockers can lead to a twofold increase in the concentration of the drug in the blood plasma.