Imodium is a common drug used to treat sudden diarrhea by slowing down the movement of the gut. The member who started the discussion reported having diarrhea for two days. He/she tried Imodium, but the medication apparently didn't help since diarrhea continued. The discussion starter wondered:
How long does Imodium take to work?
The member who replied first told that he also tried Imodium which helped him/her right away. He/she had taken 4 mg initially and 2 mg after each trip to the bathroom. He suggested that the dosage could be a problem, meaning that the discussion starter maybe didn't take enough of the medication. He/she also warned to not overdo it, i.e. not take more than 16 mg of Imodium a day. This member also advised the discussion starter to check the label to see if the medication is expired, and if not then go to the doctor and ask for some other medication.
The next participant in the discussion agreed with the previous statements.
The medication should work in two hours most!
Since it didn’t work in this case, this participant suggested the discussion starter seeing his/her doctor as soon as possible.
Maybe diarrhea is just a symptom of more complicated condition.
This member also advised seeking support and assistance from family members of your family and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
The next participant said that Imodium worked for him but it usually takes about 5 hours before it starts working. He had had to take up to 12 mg a day. However, this participant noted that he was gut shot in Vietnam so his system is not 100% normal. He also recommended drinking plenty of water.
Other participants in the discussion reported Imodium worked after a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Many suggested that what the discussion starter described is not normal and that he/she should go to ER because diarrhea could be caused by some health condition, such as IBS that require medical attention.
One participant recommended the discussion starter and anyone with diarrhea problem to stop consuming caffeine.
Caffeine/ Coffee can give you diarrhea and or make it worse - that includes things like coke.
As for relief, one participant mentioned pectin from apples will help stop diarrhea, which has been clinically proven to be effective, while another recommended bananas as they restore the potassium. One member noted that his/her diarrhea resolved after consuming yogurt, but it recurred after he/she ate greasy bread.
What do experts say?
Imodium (generic: loperamide hydrochloride) is a medication used to treat acute diarrhea and chronic diarrhea associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Imodium may also be used to decrease the amount of discharge in patients who have undergone an ileostomy (a procedure to move waste out of the body when the colon or rectum is not working properly).
Imodium works by slowing down the movement of the gut and increasing the transit time of stool through the colon, thus decreasing the number of bowel movements. Imodium also:
- Makes stool less watery
- Reduces the secretion of fluid within the large intestine
- Increases the absorption of fluids and electrolytes into the intestinal tract
- Increases muscle tone in the anal sphincter, thus reducing the chances of a fecal soiling accident
Imodium is may have no effect in reducing abdominal pain.
Imodium comes as a tablet, capsule, and liquid to take orally. It is available with or without a prescription. If you are using the over-the-counter Imodium to self-treat, read all the directions on the product package before taking this medication. If your doctor has prescribed Imodium, follow your doctor's directions and the directions on your prescription label.
One Imodium capsule is 2 mg, which is usually a recommended daily dose for those who just started using this medication. The recommended initial dose for adults is 4 mg (two capsules) followed by 2 mg (one capsule) after each unformed stool. The daily dose for adults should not exceed 8 mg, or 16 mg in 24 hours if under a doctor's direction.
In children, the dosage is based on age and weight. Children younger than age 6 should not use Imodium unless directed by their doctor, in which case it's Imodium liquid formulation. Imodium should never be used in infants younger than 24 months.
Side effects of Imodium
Imodium tends to be well-tolerated, causing minimal side effects. This is because Imodium works primarily within the large intestine and very little of the medication enters the bloodstream. Imodium does not cross the blood-brain barrier, thus there is no risk of addiction. The common side effects may include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain, discomfort, or swelling
Stop taking Imodium and get medical help right away if you notice that any of these symptoms become severe, or if you develop a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Patients who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) should avoid taking Imodium unless advised by their doctors because drugs like Imodium can put IBD patients at risk for the development of toxic megacolon, a potentially life-threatening disorder.
Also, Imodium should not be used as the primary therapy:
- In patients with acute dysentery, which is characterized by blood in stools and high fever
- In patients with bacterial enterocolitis caused by invasive organisms including Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter
- In patients with pseudomembranous colitis associated with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics
One small study identified a possible link between the use of Imodium in early pregnancy and several fetal risk factors. Also, Imodium can also pass into breast milk so you should avoid breastfeeding while taking this medication.
Interactions with other drugs
Some medications may interact with Imodium including:
- Recent/current antibiotic use
- Drugs that can cause constipation, such as certain anticholinergics, antispasmodics, morphine, certain antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, and tricyclic antidepressants
- Cholestyramine, a medication used to lower cholesterol, sometimes also prescribed as a treatment for chronic cases of diarrhea
- Certain HIV/AIDS drugs, such as ritonavir or saquinavir
- Certain diabetes drugs, such as pramlintide
Some drugs used along with Imodium may affect the heart rhythm, including:
How much of Imodium the participants in the discussion have taken and when it started to work?
- I have taken 4 mg as a start and 2 mg after each trip to the bathroom.
- Do not take more then 16 mg a day.
- Imodium works for me but it takes about 5 hours before it starts working.
- I have had to take up to 12 mg a day.
- For me, it usually it takes about 2 hours to kick in.
Verification Claims & Medical Studies
Caffiene/ Coffee can give you diarrhea and or make it worse - that includes things like coke.
Pectin from apples will help stop diarrhea.