Loperamide is a treatment for diarrhoea and works quickly to settle loose stools. It can be used to ease a temporary bout of diarrhoea or to help treat the symptoms of long term conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
Loperamide slows down food travelling through your intestines to give you time to reabsorb water. It also closes up your back passage to prevent loose stools and self-soiling.
Loperamide should start to work within an hour.
Two tablets for the first dose, then one tablet after each episode of diarrhoea
|Type of Medicine||
Binds to opiate receptors in the gut wall, slowing peristalsis - slows the action of the intestine, allowing more time to reabsorb water from stool
30 or 60 capsules
From 23p per capsule
Can include headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, drowsiness, indigestion, rash, dizziness, abdominal pain or discomfort
The active ingredient is loperamide hydrochloride.
The other ingredients are lactose monohydrate, maise starch and magnesium stearate.
Please note: different generic brands of loperamide may contain different inactive ingredients than those stated here. Please read the information leaflet provided
Take two loperamide capsules to begin with and then one after every loose stool. The capsules should be swallowed whole with water. Do not take more than six capsules within 24 hours. If you are taking it for a one-off bout of diarrhoea, your symptoms should improve within 48 hours. If they do not improve, you should speak to a doctor. For IBS sufferers, you can use loperamide for two weeks.
You may experience side effects after taking loperamide. Common side effects include:
Less common side effects include:
Rare side effects include:
If you experience any of these side effects, seek immediate medical attention.
If you experience constipation while taking loperamide, you should stop taking it and drink plenty of water. Take it with food if you feel nauseous and don't overexert yourself if it causes dizziness. Avoid foods like peas, beans, lentils and onions if you are experiencing flatulence and try eating smaller meals more often as this is easier on your digestive system. You can take painkillers to ease headaches.
Loperamide should not be taken if:
Consult your doctor if:
If you are taking any of the following medicines, you should consult your doctor before taking loperamide:
You can take painkillers alongside loperamide. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before taking them at the same time.
Loperamide and metronidazole should not be taken together. If you are already taking metronidazole, then consult your doctor for advice before using loperamide.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking loperamide as it can cause dizziness, tiredness and a lack of concentration.
Loperamide is a suitable remedy for mild to moderate traveller's diarrhoea. While it should not be taken as a preventative measure, you can purchase it before travelling in case you need it. This may be particularly suitable for people with IBS, who may experience occasional diarrhoea.
Certain countries pose a higher risk of experiencing diarrhoea when you travel. The risk can be due to different food hygiene standards, viruses, bacteria and parasites. High-risk areas include Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
Loperamide cannot be taken as a preventative measure. You should only use it to treat symptoms of diarrhoea as they occur.
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