Loperamide: Uses & Side Effects

Loperamide slows the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines have more time to absorb fluid and nutrients from the foods you eat.

Loperamide is used to treat diarrhea. Loperamide 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).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use loperamide if you are allergic to it, 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 loperamide to a child younger than 2 years old. Do not give loperamide 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
  • AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Ask your doctor before using loperamide to treat diarrhea caused by taking an antibiotic (Clostridium difficile).

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while you are using loperamide.

Side effects

Stop taking loperamide 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 side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • nausea; or
  • stomach cramps.

Keyword: loperamide.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.