Loperamide helps to treat diarrhoea.
It slows down the movement of the gut contents and makes the stools firmer and less watery. It also helps to reduce the number of times you need to run to the toilet.
Loperamide can also be used to treat diarrhoea associated in patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (a disorder that involves abdominal pain and changes in bowel movement such as constipation or diarrhoea).
This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Loperamide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
This medicine is available as a capsule, oral solution or orally disintegrating (orodispersible tablet).
If you are taking an oral solution, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure out your dose.
If you are taking the orally disintegrating (orodispersible) tablet:
- Remove it from the foil only just before you take it. Do not leave the orodispersible tablet exposed to air. Do not push through the foil as it is fragile and easily broken.
- Remove the orodispersible tablet with dry hands by peeling the backing off the foil and tipping the tablet onto your dry hands.
- Place the orodispersible tablet directly on your tongue as soon as it is taken out of the foil. The orodispersible tablet will immediately start to melt on the tongue. It can then be swallowed with or without water.
Do not swallow whole, crush, or chew the orodispersible tablets.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dose and course of your treatment depending on your condition.
You may stop taking Loperamide once you feel better or if you have no more diarrhoea, unless instructed otherwise by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- acute ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestines)
- colitis (inflammation of the colon) caused by some bacteria or after taking antibiotics
- acute dysentery (inflammation of colon with severe diarrhoea, bloody stools, and high fever)
- bowel disorders e.g. constipation, swollen stomach, stomach pain without diarrhoea
as Loperamide may not be suitable for you.
Do not give Loperamide to children below 4 years old (for oral solution), children below 12 years old (for capsules and orodispersible tablets), and to children below 18 years (with irritable bowel syndrome) unless instructed to do so by the child's doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- liver disease
- glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- urinary bladder obstruction (inability to completely empty the bladder when urinating)
- pyloric obstruction (blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through small intestine or large intestine)
- heart rhythm problems
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Loperamide to a child or elderly person. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Your body loses large amounts of fluids and salts when you have diarrhoea. You need to replace the fluids lost by drinking plenty of water than usual.
If your symptoms do not improve within 2 days of taking Loperamide, stop taking this medicine and consult your doctor.
If you have been previously diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, do not take this medicine without first informing your doctor especially if you experience any of the following conditions:
- aged 40 or more and it has been some time since your last attack
- aged 40 or more and your symptoms are different this time
- recently passed a bloody stool
- severe constipation
- feeling sick or vomiting
- loss of appetite or lost weight
- difficulty or painful passing urine
- recently travelled abroad
Loperamide may cause dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness or lessens alertness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, constipation, stomach wind, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, dry mouth, skin rash and itching.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- constipation with severe stomach pain, swollen stomach, passing bloody stools
- rapid or irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, light headedness, uncoordinated movements
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- ritonavir (medicine for HIV infection)
- medicines for fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
- quinidine (medicine for heart disease)
- gemfibrozil (cholesterol-lowering medicine)
- desmopressin tablet (medicine used to control excessive urination)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Loperamide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.