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Loperamide (By mouth)

Treats diarrhea and decreases the amount of drainage in patients who have ostomies.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Loperamide is a medicine used along with other measures to treat diarrhea. Loperamide helps stop diarrhea by slowing down the movements of the intestines. In the U.S., loperamide capsules are available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Anti-Diarrheal, Anti-Diarrheal Loperamide Hydrochloride, Diamode, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Anti-Diarrheal, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Loperamide Hydrochloride, Good Sense Anti-Diarrheal, GoodSense Loperamide Hydrochloride, Health Mart Anti-Diarrheal, Health Mart Loperamide HCl, Imodium, Imodium A-D, Imogen, Imotil, Imperim, Kao-Paverin Caps, Kaodene A-D, Leader Anti-Diarrheal, QC Anti-Diarrheal, Sunmark Anti-Diarrheal, TopCare Anti-Diarrheal
Drug classes About this
Antidiarrheal, Gastrointestinal Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Use of antimotility drugs (Loperamide, Diphenoxylate, Codeine) to control prolonged diarrhoea in people with HIV/AIDS.

People with HIV/AIDS often develop prolonged diarrhoea which are sometimes not caused by infections. This is more so in the sub‐Saharan Africa where drugs for controlling HIV itself i.e. antiretroviral drugs (ARV) may not be widely available or affordable. prolonged diarrhoea often results in prolonged illness and death due to loss of fluids, if not treated effectively and on time. Antimotility drugs and adsorbents are readily available and are used to try to control this condition while efforts are made to receive ARVs. We did not find enough evidence to support or refute their use in controlling this condition.

Effect of adjunctive loperamide in combination with antibiotics on treatment outcomes in traveler's diarrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This review found that adding loperamide to antibiotic therapy for the treatment of traveller's diarrhoea reduced illness duration and increased the probability of early clinical cure. The review included small, low-quality trials that were mostly conducted in Mexico. Limitations mean that the reliability and generalisability of the authors' conclusions are uncertain.

Loperamide therapy for acute diarrhea in children: systematic review and meta-analysis

This review evaluated the efficacy and safety of loperamide in the treatment of acute diarrhoea among children younger than 12 years. The authors concluded that children older than 3 years with minimal dehydration may benefit from loperamide administration. These conclusions have to be considered with some caution since they are based on relatively few studies and participants.

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Summaries for consumers

Use of antimotility drugs (Loperamide, Diphenoxylate, Codeine) to control prolonged diarrhoea in people with HIV/AIDS.

People with HIV/AIDS often develop prolonged diarrhoea which are sometimes not caused by infections. This is more so in the sub‐Saharan Africa where drugs for controlling HIV itself i.e. antiretroviral drugs (ARV) may not be widely available or affordable. prolonged diarrhoea often results in prolonged illness and death due to loss of fluids, if not treated effectively and on time. Antimotility drugs and adsorbents are readily available and are used to try to control this condition while efforts are made to receive ARVs. We did not find enough evidence to support or refute their use in controlling this condition.

Infectious diarrhea: Overview

Diarrhea is very common. It is usually caused by viruses and goes away on its own after a few days. But more severe or longer lasting diarrhea needs to be treated because it can lead to the loss of dangerously high levels of fluid and salt, especially in young children and older people.

Infectious diarrhea: Traveler's diarrhea

When people travel to faraway countries, their stomach and bowel often have to get used to new foods and new ways of preparing food. Diarrhea is quite common during travels to distant countries. Traveler's diarrhea typically only lasts a few days and usually doesn't need to be treated. There are certain things you can do to try to avoid getting it. The risk is higher in the tropics and subtropics. There are a number of reasons for this. For instance, your stomach and bowel might have a hard time coping with unfamiliar foods such as very spicy dishes and exotic ingredients. Poor hygiene, high temperatures and inadequate cooling of foods make it easier for bacteria to thrive in foods or water. Traveler's diarrhea is most often caused by bacteria. But viruses can also be transmitted through foods or water. If diarrhea is severe or lasts a long time, it is particularly important to replace the lost fluids and salts. You should see a doctor if the symptoms don't improve or if you develop severe diarrhea within a few days or weeks of returning from travels to a distant country.

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