Loperamide is a treatment for diarrhoea and works as a quick relief 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 works by slowing down the rate in which food travels through the bowel to give it time to absorb water, resulting in firmer stools (poos).
Loperamide should start to work within an hour.
The active ingredient is loperamide hydrochloride.
The other ingredients are lactose monohydrate, maize starch and magnesium stearate.
Please Note: Different generic brands of Loperamide may contain different inactive ingredients than those stated here.
Take two Loperamide capsules to begin with and then one after every loose stool. The tablets should be swallowed whole with plenty of fluids and do not exceed 6 capsules within a 24 hour period. If you are taking it for a one-off bout of diarrhoea then 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 a period of 2 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.
Loperamide should not be taken if:
Consult your doctor if:
If you are taking any of the following medications you should consult your doctor before taking Loperamide:
If you experience constipation while taking Loperamide then you should stop taking it and ensure you drink plenty of water. Take it with food if you feel sick and don't over exert 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. If they last for more than a week let your doctor know.
It's best to avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Loperamide as it can exacerbate side effects and cause dizziness, tiredness and a lack of concentration.
You can take painkillers like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen alongside Loperamide.
Loperamide and Metronidazole should not be taken together. Exceeding the dose of either medicine can affect the heartbeat and mixing the two together can increase the risk of this happening. If you are already taking Metronidazole then consult your doctor for advice before using Loperamide.
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 regularly encounter diarrhoea.
Certain countries pose a higher risk for experiencing diarrhoea while you visit. This can be caused by different food hygiene standards or viruses. High risk countries include Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
Loperamide cannot be taken as a preventative measure. It should only be used to treat symptoms as they occur.