Imodium Classic Capsules - 12
Can stop diorrhoea in one dose
How does it work?
Imodium capsules, syrup and instants all contain the active ingredient loperamide hydrochloride, which is a medicine used to treat diarrhoea. (NB. Loperamide is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Loperamide works by slowing the muscular contractions of the intestine and so is called an 'antimotility' medicine.
Loperamide works by acting on opioid receptors that are found in the muscle lining the walls of the intestines. By acting on these receptors, loperamide reduces the muscular contractions of the intestine (called peristalsis) that move food and faecal matter through the gut.
This reduces the speed at which the gut contents are pushed through the intestines, allowing more time for water and electrolytes to be reabsorbed from the gut contents back into the body. This results in firmer stools that are passed less frequently.
Loperamide can be bought without a prescription to treat acute (sudden and short-lived) episodes of watery diarrhoea in adults.
Loperamide can also be used to control flare-ups of chronic (long-term) diarrhoea, however it should only be used for this purpose on the advice of a doctor. It should only be used to treat diarrhoea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after initial diagnosis of IBS by a doctor.
What is it used for?
When bought without a prescription Imodium can be used to treat:
- Acute diarrhoea in adults and children aged 12 years and over.
- Acute diarrhoea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults aged 18 years and over, following initial diagnosis by a doctor.
Imodium can also be used to treat the following, but ONLY when prescribed by a doctor:
- Acute diarrhoea of any cause, including treating sudden worsening of long-term diarrhoea for periods of up to five days, in adults and children over eight years of age (capsules) and children over four years of age (syrup).
- Chronic (long-term) diarrhoea in adults.
- DON'T take this medicine and consult a doctor instead if any of the following apply to you: if your diarrhoea started either during or after taking a course of antibiotics; if the diarrhoea contains yellow or greenish mucus or blood; if you also have a fever.
- Do not exceed the recommended dose of this medicine, which will be stated in the product packaging or information leaflet supplied with the medicine.
- If you have bought Imodium without a prescription and your symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, you should consult a doctor.
- If you get any swelling of your stomach after taking this medicine don't take any further doses and consult your doctor.
- Acute diarrhoea makes you lose more fluids and salt than you usually would and can make you dehydrated. This medicine only treats the diarrhoea symptoms and so will not rehydrate you. You should ensure that you drink plenty of fluids, and you may also want to take an oral rehydration therapy, which is a soluble powder containing sugars and salts, to help rehydrate you. This is particularly important for frail and elderly people and children. Rehydration salts can be bought from pharmacies.
- If you are taking Imodium to control episodes of diarrhoea associated with irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed by your doctor, you should return to your doctor if the pattern of your symptoms changes. You should also return to your doctor if your symptoms continue for more than two weeks, or you need continuous treatment for more than two weeks.
Use with caution in
- Decreased liver function.
Not to be used in
- Conditions where preventing gut movement should be avoided, such as constipation, obstruction of the intestines (ileus) or when abdominal swelling (distension) develops.
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as acute ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
- Diarrhoea cause by infection of the gut with bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella or Campylobacter.
- People with diarrhoea containing yellow or greenish mucus or blood, or who also have a fever.
- Diarrhoea caused by inflammation of the gut as a result of antibiotic treatment (antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis).
- Imodium must not be used in children under 12 years of age unless prescribed by a doctor. Imodium capsules should not be used in children under eight years of age and Imodium syrup should not be used in children under four years of age.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- There is no information available about the safety of this medicine during pregnancy. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women. If you are pregnant you should seek medical advice from your doctor.
- This medicine may pass into breast milk in small amounts. It should only be used during breastfeeding if the benefit to the mother outweighs any potential risk to the nursing infant. If you are breastfeeding you should seek medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Abdominal swelling.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Paralysis or inactivity of the intestine that stops the movement of material through the gut (paralytic ileus).
- Skin reactions such as rash and itch.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, as with all medicines, if you are already taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, it is important to check with your pharmacist before taking this one as well, to ensure that the combination is safe.