Generic name: loperamide (loe PER a mide)
Brand name: Imodium A-D
Drug class: Antidiarrheals
Imodium A-D (loperamide) slows the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines have more time to absorb fluid and nutrients from the foods you eat.
Imodium A-D is used to treat diarrhea.
Imodium A-D is also used to reduce the amount of stool in people who have an ileostomy (re-routing of the bowel through a surgical opening in the stomach).
You should not use Imodium A-D if you have ulcerative colitis, bloody or tarry stools, diarrhea with a high fever, or diarrhea caused by antibiotic medication.
Do not take more than the recommended dose of this medicine. Misuse of loperamide can cause serious heart problems that could be fatal.
Serious heart problems may also happen if you take Imodium A-D with other medicines. Ask a doctor or pharmacist about safely using medications together.
Loperamide may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Imodium A-D should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Loperamide can cause serious breathing problems and heart problems in a child.
Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking this medicine. It may take up to 48 hours of taking Imodium A-D before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 10 days of treatment.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Imodium A-D if you are allergic to loperamide, or if you have:
- stomach pain without diarrhea;
- diarrhea with a high fever;
- ulcerative colitis;
- diarrhea that is caused by a bacterial infection; or
- stools that are bloody, black, or tarry.
Do not give Imodium A-D to a child younger than 2 years old. Do not give this medicine to an older child or teenager without a doctor's advice.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have:
- a fever;
- mucus in your stools;
- liver disease; or
- a heart rhythm disorder.
Ask your doctor before using Imodium A-D to treat diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
You should not breast-feed while you are using loperamide.
How should I take Imodium A-D?
Use Imodium A-D exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Imodium A-D is safe when used as directed. TAKING TOO MUCH LOPERAMIDE CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HEART PROBLEMS OR DEATH.
Carefully follow all dosing directions on the medicine label. A safe dose of loperamide is different for an adult than for a child. This medicine doses in children are based on the child's age.
Take Imodium A-D with a full glass of water. Diarrhea can cause your body to lose fluids and electrolytes. Drink plenty of liquids to keep from getting dehydrated.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before swallowing. Take the chewable tablet on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal)
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Not all liquid forms of this medicine are the same strengths. Carefully follow all dosing instructions for the medicine you are using.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.
Stop taking Imodium A-D and call your doctor if you still have diarrhea after 2 days of treatment, or if you also have stomach bloating.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since Imodium A-D is used when needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after using this medicine.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of loperamide can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include fast or irregular heartbeats, or fainting. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you pass out and are hard to wake up.
What to avoid
Avoid drinking tonic water. It can interact with loperamide and may cause serious heart problems.
Avoid becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid vigorous exercise or exposure to hot weather if you are dehydrated.
Imodium A-D liquid may contain alcohol. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Imodium A-D side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Imodium A-D (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- stomach pain or bloating;
- ongoing or worsening diarrhea; or
- fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out).
Common Imodium A-D side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- nausea; or
- stomach cramps.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Imodium A-D?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take. Ask a doctor or pharmacist about safely using medications together.
Loperamide can cause a serious heart problem with high doses.
Many drugs can affect loperamide. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.