Loperamide is the general form of Imodium’s proprietary drug, a medicine used to treat diarrhea.
Imodium works by slowing the work of the intestines. This makes the stool less watery.
Imodium can also be used to reduce the amount of excretion in patients who undergo ileostomy (the procedure for removing waste from the body when the colon or rectum is not working properly) or for treating people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Imodium is supplied in the form of tablets, capsules and fluids for oral administration. It is available by prescription and without it.
Children younger than 6 years of age should not use Imodium unless their doctor has appointed. This medicine should never be used by children under 24 months of age.
It may take up to 48 hours to improve symptoms.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within two days after taking Imodium (10 days for chronic diarrhea), or if you develop a bloody stool or fever.
Drink plenty of fluids to make up for the losses during diarrhea.
Do not take if your stool is bloody, black or lingering, or if you have diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics.
Tell your doctor if you have a fever, slime in your stool, a history of liver disease or if you are taking an antibiotic.
Imodium treats the symptoms of diarrhea, not the cause. Your doctor will determine how best to treat the causes of diarrhea.
Pregnancy and Imodium
It is not known whether Imodium will harm the unborn child. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or can become pregnant while taking Imodium.
The drug can also penetrate into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding baby. Do not breast-feed while taking Imodium.
Imodium for dogs
Some veterinarians used Imodium to treat diarrhea in dogs.
If your dog has diarrhea that is severe or prolonged (more than 48 hours), with vomiting or blood, stop using Imodium and immediately contact a veterinarian.
Imodium can cause serious side effects in cats and is not recommended for them.
Imodium and abuse
Imodium contains a small amount of opiates, and an increasing number of anecdotal and scientific reports have revealed that some addicts with opioid dependence use a large amount of Imodium to get a moderate narcotic maximum.
Abuse of any opioid has serious health risks and can lead to life-threatening irregular heartbeats and death.
A report from 2016 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine describes how two people died after an overdose of Imodium.
Imodium: side effects
Common side effects:
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following side effects.
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain, discomfort or bloating
Serious side effects:
Immediately consult your doctor if you experience the following serious side effects.
- Skin rash
- Labored breathing
Imodium and alcohol
Drinking alcohol while taking Imodium can enhance the effect of drowsiness of the medication.
Imodium and other medicines
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, food or dietary supplements you are taking, especially saquinavir (Invirase) or Pramlintide (Symlin).
Receiving Imodium can cause you drowsiness or dizziness.
You should not drive or drive the car until you know how this medicine will affect you.
You should also avoid overheating or dehydration during hot weather or physical exercise while taking this medication.
Dosage of Imodium
Imodium is usually taken immediately after each trip to the toilet, although it is sometimes taken on a schedule of chronic diarrhea.
The dosage is based on your condition. In children, the dosage also depends on the age and weight.
Take your dose of Imodium in the same way as indicated on the package or by your doctor.
Adults should not use more than 8 milligrams (mg) for a 24-hour period if it is self-medication or 16 mg if under medical supervision.
If you take the chewing form of Imodium, you should take it on an empty stomach. Before swallowing the tablet, chew it.
If you take dissolving tablets, you should dry your hands before opening the package to remove the tablet. Place the tablet on the tongue and let it completely dissolve, and then swallow.
If you are taking an Imodium oral suspension (liquid), shake well before measuring the dose. You should measure the fluid with a special spoon or a cup of medicine.
Liquid lemon AD and the new Imodium AD contain two different forms of medication. If you switch from one brand to another, carefully follow the dosing instructions.
The liquid Imadium A-D also contains a small amount of alcohol.
Overdose by Imodium
Symptoms of an imodium overdose may include dizziness, drowsiness, micturition less than usual, bloating, severe cramping in the abdomen or vomiting.
If you suspect an overdose, contact a toxicology center or contact an emergency department immediately.
You can contact the Toxicology Center
Missed dose of Imodium
If you take Imodium on schedule, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
However, if it’s time for the next dose, skip the dose and continue your regular medication schedule.
Do not drink twice more to fill the missed dose.