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Generic name product may be available in the U.S. and Canada.
Loperamide (loe-PER-a-mide) 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, while the liquid form and the tablet form are available without a prescription. In Canada, all the dosage forms are available without a prescription.
Loperamide is available in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
If you are taking this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For loperamide, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to loperamide. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Studies have not been done in humans. However, studies in animals have not shown that loperamide causes cancer or birth defects or lessens the chances of becoming pregnant even when given in doses many times the human dose.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether loperamide passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.
Children—This medicine should not be used in children under 6 years of age unless directed by a doctor. Children, especially very young children, are very sensitive to the effects of loperamide. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment. Also, the fluid loss caused by diarrhea may result in a serious health problem (dehydration). Loperamide may hide the symptoms of dehydration. For these reasons, do not give medicine for diarrhea to children without first checking with their doctor. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Older adults—The fluid loss caused by diarrhea may result in a serious health problem (dehydration). Loperamide may hide the symptoms of dehydration. For this reason, elderly persons with diarrhea, in addition to using medicine for diarrhea, must receive a sufficient amount of liquids to replace the fluid lost by the body. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking loperamide, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of loperamide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Do not use loperamide to treat your diarrhea if you have a fever or if there is blood or mucus in your stools . Contact your doctor.
For safe and effective use of this medicine:
Use a specially marked measuring spoon or other device to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.
Importance of diet and fluid intake while treating diarrhea :
Dosing—The dose of loperamide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of loperamide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you must take this medicine regularly and you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Loperamide should not be used for more than 2 days, unless directed by your doctor. If you will be taking this medicine regularly for a long time, your doctor should check your progress at regular visits.
Check with your doctor if your diarrhea does not stop after two days or if you develop a fever .
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. When this medicine is used for short periods of time at low doses, side effects usually are rare .
However, check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects are severe and occur suddenly since they may be signs of a more severe and dangerous problem with your bowels:
Bloating; constipation; loss of appetite; stomach pain (severe) with nausea and vomiting
Also, check with your doctor as soon as possible if the following side effect occurs:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Dizziness or drowsiness; dryness of mouth
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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