Loperamide

Sounds like 'low-PAIR-uh-mide'

Easy-to-read medicine information about loperamide – what it is, how to take loperamide safely and possible side effects.

—Type of medicine

Also called

  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-motility agents (slows the gut) 
  • Antidiarrheal (stops runny stools)
  • Diamide Relief®
  • Diamide®
  • Diafix®
  • Imodium®
  • Nodia®

What is loperamide?

  • Loperamide is used to treat sudden diarrhoea (loose, watery, runny stools).
  • It works by slowing down the movement of the gut, and in this way reduces the number of bowel motions and makes the stools less runny or watery. 
  • Loperamide may also be used in patients who have undergone an ileostomy, to reduce the amount of discharge. 
  • Loperamide treats only the symptoms of diarrhoea, and does not treat the cause of diarrhoea, such as infection or a tummy bug.
  • Do not use loperamide if you have blood or mucous (slimy substance) in your stool. Contact you doctor or pharmacist.
  • Read more about diarrhoea.

Dose

  • The usual dose of loperamide is 2 tablets or capsules initially, then 1 tablet or capsule after each time you go to the toilet with diarrhoea. 
  • Do not take more than 8 tablets or capsules in 24 hours.
  • If your doctor has prescribed loperamide, then take it exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much loperamide to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take loperamide

  • Swallow the capsule or tablet with a glass of water. 
  • Loperamide can be taken before or after food.
  • Stop taking loperamide as soon as the diarrhoea stops.
  • If the diarrhoea continues for longer than 48 hours, contact your doctor. 
  • If you forget to take a dose, just take a dose after the next time you go to the toilet with diarrhoea. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, loperamide can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.

Side effectsWhat should I do?
  • Constipation
  • Stop taking loperamide.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome 
  • Gas, bloating, wind (flatulence)
  • Headache
  • These is quite common when you take loperamide and usually goes away with time

Interactions

  • Loperamide may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Check with our pharmacist before using over-the-counter medication such as laxatives (eg, Laxsol), or other diarrhoea medication (eg, Diastop). 

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets
Diamide
Diamide Relief
Nodia


Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist.