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- What is loperamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for loperamide?
- Is loperamide available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for loperamide?
- What are the side effects of loperamide?
- What is the dosage for loperamide?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with loperamide?
- Is loperamide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about loperamide?
What is loperamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Loperamide is a medication that is used for the relief of acute diarrhea and the management of chronic diarrhea in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). The effectiveness of loperamide is comparable to another anti-diarrheal, diphenoxylate (Lomotil). Loperamide reduces diarrhea by slowing the forward propulsion of intestinal contents by the intestinal muscles. Although loperamide is related chemically to narcotics such as morphine, it does not have any of narcotics' pain- relieving effects even at high doses. Loperamide was approved by the FDA in 1976.
What brand names are available for loperamide?
Imodium A-D, Anti-Diarrheal, TH Anti-Diarrheal, Diamode
What are the side effects of loperamide?
Loperamide is generally well-tolerated. The side effects that have been reported during loperamide treatment include:
Quick GuideInflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What is the dosage for loperamide?
In adults and children 12 years of age and older, the usual dose is 4 mg initially, followed by 2 mg after each loose stool. The maximum dose is 16 mg/day (8 mg if self medicating).
For chronic diarrhea 4-8 mg per day may be administered after control is achieved.
The dose for acute diarrhea in children is: age 8 to 12 years, 2 mg three times the first day; age 6 to 8 years, 2 mg twice the first day; age 2 to 5 years, 1 mg three times the first day. After the first day, children less than 12 years of age usually receive a dose of 0.1 mg/kg after a loose stool.
Chronic diarrhea in children is treated with 0.08-0.24 mg/kg/d divided into two doses, one dose given every 12 hours. For traveler's diarrhea children 6-12 years old receive 2 mg after the first lose stool then 1 mg after each subsequent stool. Children older than 12 receive 4 mg initially then 1 mg after each loose stool.
The maximum daily dose for traveler's diarrhea is 4 mg (6-8 years old), 6 mg (6-12 years old), and 8 mg (>12 years old).
Which drugs or supplements interact with loperamide?
Cholestyramine (Questran) binds to loperamide in the intestines and prevents its absorption, thereby reducing the effect of loperamide. Therefore, there should be at least a two hour interval between doses of loperamide and cholestyramine. Some drugs which are used to increase propulsion of intestinal contents theoretically could counteract loperamide. Such drugs include bethanechol (Urecholine), cisapride (Propulsid), metoclopramide (Reglan), and erythromycin.
Is loperamide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of loperamide in pregnant women. However, studies in animals receiving very high doses of loperamide suggest no important, detrimental effects on the fetus. Physicians may use loperamide during pregnancy if its benefits are deemed to outweigh the potential but unknown risks.
It is not known if loperamide is secreted in breast milk.
What else should I know about loperamide?
What preparations of loperamide are available?
Capsules or tablets: 1 or 2 mg; liquid: 1 mg per teaspoonful (5 ml).
How should I keep loperamide stored?
Loperamide should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Loperamide (Imodium; Kaopectate II; Imodium A-D; Maalox Anti-Diarrheal) is prescribed for the relief of acute, chronic, or traveler's diarrhea. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, pediatric and pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Anticholinergic or antispasmodic (generic name) drugs include prescription medications used to treat a variety of medical conditions like:
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Examples of anticholinergic drugs for overactive bladder include:
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Examples of anticholinergic antidepressant medications include:
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Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
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