What is Imodium?

Imodium is a medication used to treat diarrhea. It is an anti-diarrheal agent that works by slowing down the movement of the intestines.

Health Benefits

Imodium can be used to treat diarrhea caused by a number of different conditions, including:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Infectious diarrhea

Food poisoning

Traveler’s diarrhea

Certain types of bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella

Side Effects and Precautions

Side effects of Imodium include:

constipation

stomach pain

nausea

vomiting

dizziness

headache

If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Imodium and call your doctor right away.

Imodium should not be used by people with certain medical conditions, including:

kidney disease

liver disease

intestinal blockage or severe constipation

Do not take Imodium if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should speak to their doctor before taking Imodium.

Dosages

The recommended dosage of Imodium for adults is 2-4 mg (one or two capsules) after the first loose stool, then 2 mg (one capsule) after each subsequent loose stool. The maximum daily dose is 16 mg.

For children ages 6-12, the recommended dosage is 1-2 mg after the first loose stool, then 1 mg after each subsequent loose stool. The maximum daily dose is 8 mg.

Interactions

Imodium may interact with other medications, including:

antibiotics

antidepressants

anti-anxiety medications

blood thinners

heart rhythm medications

steroids

Do not take Imodium if you are taking any of these medications. Speak to your doctor about all of the medications you are taking before starting Imodium.

Mechanism of Action

Imodium works by slowing down the movement of the intestines. This action reduces the number of bowel movements and makes stool less watery.

Pharmacokinetics

Imodium is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The peak plasma concentration is reached within 1-2 hours. Imodium is widely distributed throughout the body and has a half-life of 8-10 hours. It is metabolized in the liver and eliminated in the urine.

Clinical Trials

There have been several clinical trials conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Imodium in the treatment of diarrhea. In a study of 535 adults with traveler’s diarrhea, Imodium was found to be effective in reducing the duration and severity of diarrhea.

In a study of children with acute infectious diarrhea, Imodium was found to be effective in reducing the duration of diarrhea by an average of 1.3 days.

A study of people with IBS found that Imodium significantly reduced the number of bowel movements and improved stool consistency.

Researches suggest that loperamide, the active ingredient in Imodium, may be an effective treatment for chronic idiopathic constipation.

Alternatives to Imodium

There are a number of alternative medications that can be used to treat diarrhea, including:

Pepto-Bismol

Kaopectate

Lomotil

Diphenoxylate/Atropine (Lomotil)

Cholestyramine (Prevalite)

Colestipol (Colestid)

Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)

Racecadotril (Hidrasec)

Zinc sulfate

Probiotics

Speak to your doctor about which medication is right for you.

Is Lomotil more effective than Imodium?

There is no definitive answer to this question as both medications are effective in treating diarrhea. Some studies suggest that Lomotil may be more effective than Imodium, while other studies have found no difference in efficacy. Speak to your doctor about which medication is right for you.

Symptoms of an Overdose

Symptoms of an overdose of Imodium include:

drowsiness

confusion

agitation

decreased heart rate

muscle weakness

seizures

coma

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Storage and Stability

Store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F). Protect from light and moisture. Keep out of reach of children.

Shelf life is 24 months.

Chemical Structure

Imodium is the brand name for the medication loperamide. The chemical structure of loperamide is:

C29H33ClN2O2

Brand Names

Imodium is the most common brand name for loperamide. Other brand names include Kaopectate II, Maalox Anti-Diarrheal Caplets, and Pepto Diarrhea Control.