LOPERAMIDE HYDROCHLORIDE - Watsons Health

LOPERAMIDE HYDROCHLORIDE

 

First made in 1969 and used medically in 1976, loperamide hydrochloride is a medication to treat diarrhea. It is included on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health care system. Loperamide is available as an inexpensive generic medication.

This medication is used to treat sudden diarrhea (including traveler’s diarrhea). It works by slowing down the movement of the gut. This decreases the number of bowel movements and makes the stool less watery. Loperamide is also used to reduce the amount of discharge in patients who have had an ileostomy. It is also used to treat ongoing diarrhea in people with inflammatory bowel disease.

Loperamide treats only the symptoms, not the cause of the diarrhea (e.g., infection). Treatment of other symptoms and the cause of the diarrhea should be determined by your doctor.

Do not use in children younger than 6 years unless directed by your doctor. This medication should not be used in infants younger than 24 months.

Loperamide hydrochloride should not be given to patients with acute dysentery, an infection of the intestines resulting in severe diarrhea with the presence of blood and mucus in the feces. It should not be taken by travellers suffering from severe diarrhea or those with high fever or blood in the stools. These travellers may benefit from short-term treatment with an antibiotic such as a fluoroquinolone.

Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor promptly.

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe constipation/nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, uncomfortable fullness of the stomach/abdomen.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking loperamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: stomach/abdominal pain without diarrhea, bowel obstruction (e.g., ileus, megacolon, abdominal distention).

Antibiotics may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. Symptoms include: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, or blood/mucus in your stool. This condition may occur weeks after antibiotic treatment has stopped. This medication may make this condition worse. Do not use this anti-diarrhea product, especially after recent antibiotic use, if you have the above symptoms without talking with your doctor first.

This medication should not be used without seeing your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions. These symptoms/conditions may require other treatment before you can use this medication safely. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: black/tarry stool, blood/mucus in your stool, high fever, HIV infection/AIDS, liver problems, certain stomach/intestinal infections (e.g., Salmonella, Shigella), certain type of bowel disease (acute ulcerative colitis).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the drowsiness effect. Children are at higher risk for dehydration. (See also Uses, How to Use sections.)

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only if clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This drug passes into breast milk but is unlikely to have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

 

Interactions

This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: pramlintide.

If you are currently using the medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting loperamide.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: recent/current antibiotic use, drugs that can cause constipation (e.g., anticholinergics such as belladonna/scopolamine/benztropine, antispasmodics such as glycopyrrolate/oxybutynin, potent narcotic pain medicines such as morphine, certain antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline), cholestyramine, quinidine, ritonavir, saquinavir.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, bring the victim to the nearest hospital right away.

 

Available brands:

  • Diatabs (Unilab)
  • Imodium (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Lomotil (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Lormide (Westmont)
  • RiteMED Loperamide (RiteMED)

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