Loperamide

Order Loperamide (Imodium) to treat diarrhoea while travelling

Loperamide (generic Imodium) capsules provide fast relief from acute diarrhoea commonly experienced during travelling.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
2mg30 capsules£7.99In Stock
2mg60 capsules£13.99In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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Information

Virginia Chachati

Reviewed by Virginia Chachati MPharm
(2013, University College London)
GPhC Registration number: 2087654

Information last reviewed 08/02/21

About

What is Loperamide?

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.

How does Loperamide work?

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.

How long does Loperamide take to work?

Loperamide should start to work within an hour.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient is loperamide hydrochloride.

Inactive ingredients

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

Dosage

How to take Loperamide?

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.

Side Effects

Loperamide side effects

You may experience side effects after taking Loperamide. Common side effects include: 

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Wind
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Dry mouth

Less common side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Tiredness
  • A burning sensation in the mouth, lips or tongue
  • Itching
  • Sore or tight muscles 
  • Miosis (where the pupils of your eyes narrow) 

Rare side effects include: 

  • Allergic reaction 
  • Various skin rashes: erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Megacolon
  • Feeling faint or falling unconscious 
  • A blockage in the intestine
  • Being unable to urinate 

If you experience any of these side effects, seek immediate medical attention.

Contraindications

Loperamide should not be taken if: 

  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients 
  • You are a child under the age of 12 years old
  • You suffer from IBS and are under the age of 18 years old
  • You have a high fever
  • There is blood in your stools
  • You have a medical condition which causes constipation 
  • You have an inflammatory bowel or intestine disease
  • You have stomach pain or diarrhoea caused by Salmonella, Shigella or Campylobacter
  • You have taken antibiotics which have caused you to have diarrhoea 
  • You are breastfeeding

Consult your doctor if: 

  • You have liver problems 
  • You are dehydrated
  • You become constipated after taking Loperamide 
  • You start to notice blood in your stools or develop a fever
  • You are over 40 years old and have not experienced an IBS flare-up in some time
  • You are over 40 years old, and your IBS symptoms are different

Drug interactions

If you are taking any of the following medicines, you should consult your doctor before taking Loperamide: 

  • Quinidine
  • Ritonavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Ketoconazole
  • Desmopressin
  • Any medicines used to treat the stomach

How can I cope with Loperamide side effects?

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 and alcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Loperamide as it can cause dizziness, tiredness and a lack of concentration.

Can I take Loperamide with painkillers?

You can take painkillers alongside Loperamide. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before taking them at the same time.

Can you take Loperamide and Metronidazole?

Loperamide and Metronidazole should not be taken together. If you are already taking Metronidazole, then consult your doctor for advice before using Loperamide.

Q&A

Should I buy Loperamide before I travel?

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.

Which countries am I likely to need to take Loperamide for?

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.

Is Loperamide preventative or a cure?

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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I moved 150 miles from my GP (to uni) and was unable to go home or visit a walk in for another 2 days due to being at work (12.5 hour shifts). I filled out a quick form - and 1.5 days later I had my antibiotics delivered to my door and I am on the mend. 10/10.

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