What is Loperamide Hydrochloride, and when is it used?
Loperamide is a medicine to treat Diarrhoea (runny poo). It can also help with short term diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Loperamide is also used for long-lasting Diarrhoea from bowel problems such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and short bowel syndrome. If you have a colostomy to give you a stoma (an opening in your stomach to collect poo from your body), Loperamide can help to slow down your bowel and make your poo thicker.
Key facts of Loperamide
- Diarrhoea which starts suddenly usually gets better on its own within 5 to 7 days. If you need immediate, short term relief, taking Loperamide can cut down the number of times you go to the toilet, and it makes your poo less watery.
- Adults should take 2 tablets or capsules straight away if they suffer from short term diarrhoea. After this take 1 each time you do a runny poo.
- Don't exceed the recommended amount. Exceeding the recommended amount can lead to serious heart problems (including a fast or irregular heartbeat).
How will it treat my symptoms?
Loperamide works by slowing down the muscle movements in your gut, so an increased amount of water is absorbed from your stools. This leads to your stools becoming firmer, and they're passed less frequently.
Note: This medication CANNOT be taken if the intended user has ulcerative colitis.
Note: If you are experiencing diarrhoea as a result of antibiotic use, please seek urgent medical attention.
What causes Diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea is usually caused by a bowel infection known as gastroenteritis. Other known causes are:
- Food allergy
If you are taking any other medicine currently, check the side effects to make sure that they do not cause Diarrhoea. Chronic or long-term Diarrhoea can be a symptom of a more severe condition, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
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