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Imodium

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read
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Imodium is a branded version of the medication loperamide, which is used to treat diarrhea. Loperamide works by slowing down the natural muscle contractions (peristalsis) that occur in the intestines. This, in turn, gives your body more time to absorb fluid and electrolytes. Imodium can come in different formulations, such as caplets, softgels, and liquids. The "multi-symptom relief" versions also contain the medication simethicone, which helps relieve trapped gas.

Who is it for?

Imodium can be used by anyone over the age of 6 for short-term diarrhea. It can also be used for loose stool associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults over 18 years, after diagnosis from their doctor.

How do I use it?

For adults and children over 12 years treating short-term diarrhea, take two caplets initially, followed by one caplet after each loose bowel movement. You should not take more than 4 caplets daily and should not use Imodium for longer than 2 days.

For children between the ages of 6 and 12, for treating short-term diarrhea, take one caplet initially, followed by one-half caplet after each loose bowel movement. You should not take more than 2 caplets daily and should not use Imodium for longer than 2 days.

Should anyone avoid taking it?

Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the drug. Avoid starting Imodium if you are diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel condition like ulcerative colitis, have not consulted your doctor, are constipated, or have a severely painful swollen stomach.

You should not take Imodium if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should avoid Imodium if you have severe diarrhea after taking antibiotics or if you have a fever and have blood in your stools. This may be a sign you have an infection, and you should speak with your doctor promptly.

Are there any side effects?

As with any medication, some people are bound to get some unwanted side effects. Some common ones include dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, stomach pain, itching, and skin rashes. You should consult your doctor if you experience any severe symptoms.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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