What is Loperamide for?
Loperamide is a medication used for the treatment of diarrhea. It stops diarrhea by slowing the muscles of the intestines; when muscles of the intestines as slowed down, excess water is removed from the stools and stools stay more in the intestine as well.
In the United States, you need a doctor’s prescription to purchase Loperamide. It is available in two kinds of preparations: 2mg capsules and 1mg/5ml sugar free oral solution. Loperamide is a generic name; popular brand names include Diamode, Imodium A-D, Imogen, Imotil, Imperim, Kaodene A-D and Kao-Paverin Caps.
How do you use Loperamide?
Before using the medication, talk to your doctor regarding allergies to Loperamide and Loperamide ingredients. Inform your doctor about any food allergies that may affect the action of the medication.
Inform your doctor for any medications you are currently taking or any illness that you may have. Some medications may interfere with the action of Loperamide and may cause ineffectiveness of the treatment. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; although Loperamide poses minimal threat to the developing baby in the womb, extra precaution is still important to safety the mother and the unborn child. Breastfeeding mothers should inform their doctor before taking Loperamide.
This type of medication is not recommended to children under 6 years of age; proper procedures to ensure that the child is hydrated are very important to control diarrhea. Your doctor will advise you with the important procedures to rehydrate your child at home.
Just like very young children, geriatric patients are also more prone to suffering from the effects of dehydration. Be sure to keep seniors hydrated and to consult a doctor before taking Loperamide.
- Follow your doctor’s dosage advice. Never overdose and if you miss a dose, take your missed dose as soon as you remember.
- In taking oral Loperamide preparations, use a measuring cup or spoon rather than using a tablespoon or teaspoon.
- Monitor for any changes in your condition, improvement in bowel movement must be noted as well as worsening LBM. Consult your doctor for any untoward signs and symptoms when using Loperamide.
- Be sure to supplement the use of Loperamide by increasing fluid intake. Aside from taking water and beverages you may eat fruits and vegetables, eat soup, decaffeinated drinks and gelatin.
- Avoid eating flavored and preserved foods until your bowel movement has returned to normal. Eat bland foods for a while which includes cereals, crackers, plain bread and applesauce. Avoid salty and spicy foods which may only worsen diarrhea.
The role of water in the treatment of diarrhea must be the focus of every health personnel. Informing parents, caregivers and medical professionals about rehydrating the patient even at the first sign of diarrhea is a very important aspect of treatment. Patients who cannot tolerate medications and fluids need special medical attention as well as young children, babies and senior citizens. The use of rehydration salts and ORS are also very important especially in rural places; getting clean water for drinking and cooking must also be reiterated to totally prevent diarrhea outbreaks. In places where there are no clean or available toilets, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases are prevalent. Health workers must ensure that the community is educated on how to care for children and how to totally prevent diarrhea. Taking Loperamide and other medication for diarrhea is just one of the ways to control this preventable illness.
Store Loperamide in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep these out of reach of children and be sure to label them accordingly. Keep oral Loperamide syrup cover tight and discard unused medications. Keep medicine literature so you can refer to it for side effects, dosing and contraindications in taking this medicine.
Other important information:
The use of Loperamide is just one way to control diarrhea. It is very important to prevent recurring episodes of diarrhea by practicing cleanliness and hygiene in everything you do. Prevention includes avoiding eating or drinking in questionable establishments and drinking from unsafe water sources. There are so many causes of diarrhea and it’s important to seek medical help right away to prevent dehydration.
Dehydration is the number one complication of uncontrollable diarrhea and to prevent dehydration you must supplement medication by increasing fluid intake.
What are the side effects of Loperamide?
Loperamide is very effective in controlling diarrhea however there are several side effects that you should be aware of:
- Cramping, gas, bloating, constipation and other gastrointestinal conditions are common side effects.
- Weakness and restlessness are also common but may also be a result of chronic diarrhea.
Consult your doctor for these unusual side effects:
- Loss of appetite, bloating accompanied with severe stomach pain must be consulted right away. Your doctor may discontinue use of Loperamide and may prescribe another medicine for your diarrhea.
- Allergic reactions like swelling of the face, eyes, lips, hands and feet must be consulted right away. Discontinue use of Loperamide but maintain rehydration efforts.
- Rashes, difficulty of breathing, dizziness and loss of consciousness must be reported right away.
Most side effects associated with Loperamide are mild and may not need medical attention right away. The best approach is to continue hydrating patient and to attend to his diet and medication. Never discontinue medication unless advised by your doctor.
In case of over dosage:
Contact your doctor in case of over dosage. You may also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or emergency medical services by dialing 911. Keep this medication out of reach of children.
What is the usual dosage?
The dosage of Loperamide may differ from one person to another however there are people who must consult a doctor before taking Loperamide. If you are aged 40 or over, if you have blood in your stool, if your diarrhea is accompanied with vomiting and fever, have loss of appetite, have significant weight loss, have difficulty in urination and if you have recently traveled abroad then you need to talk to your doctor before taking medications for diarrhea.