Skip to Content

Imodium A-D

Pronunciation

Generic Name: loperamide (loe PER a mide)
Brand Names: Diamode, Imodium A-D, Imodium A-D EZ Chews, Imodium A-D New Formula

What is Imodium?

Imodium (loperamide) slows the rhythm of digestion so that the small intestines have more time to absorb fluid and nutrients from the foods you eat.

Imodium is used to treat diarrhea.

Imodium is also used to reduce the amount of stool in people who have an ileostomy (re-routing of the bowel through a surgical opening in the stomach).

Important information

You should not use Imodium if you have stomach pain without diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, bloody or tarry stools, diarrhea with a high fever, or diarrhea that is caused by a bacterial infection or by taking antibiotic medicine.

Do not take more than the recommended dose of this medicine. Misuse of Imodium can cause serious heart problems that could be fatal.

Imodium can also cause a serious heart problem if you use certain medicines at the same time. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use loperamide if you are also taking other medications.

Imodium may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking this medicine. It may take up to 48 hours of taking Imodium before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 10 days of treatment.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Imodium if you are allergic to loperamide, or if you have:

  • stomach pain without diarrhea;

  • diarrhea with a high fever;

  • ulcerative colitis;

  • stools that are bloody, black, or tarry;

  • diarrhea that is caused by a bacterial infection; or

  • diarrhea caused by taking an antibiotic.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have:

  • a fever;

  • mucus in your stools;

  • AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome);

  • a history of liver disease; or

  • if you are taking an antibiotic.

It is not known whether Imodium will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.

Loperamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Imodium.

Imodium should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old without medical advice.

How should I take Imodium?

Use Imodium exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

For adults, loperamide is usually taken as a single dose of 4 milligrams (mg) at the first sign of diarrhea, and again at a dose of 2 mg if diarrhea comes back. For children, the correct dose depends on the child's age.

Do not take more than the recommended dose of this medicine. Misuse of Imodium can cause serious heart problems that could be fatal. Follow all dosing instructions very carefully.

If you take Imodium without a prescription (over-the-counter), do not take more 8 mg in 24 hours. If your doctor has prescribed Imodium, do not take more than 16 mg per day.

The Imodium chewable tablet must be chewed before swallowing.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Take Imodium with a full glass of water. Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking loperamide, to keep from getting dehydrated.

Immodium A-D Liquid and New Immodium A-D Liquid contain two different strengths of loperamide. If you switch from using one brand to using the other, follow the dosing instructions carefully. Immodium A-D Liquid also contains a small amount of alcohol, but New Immodium A-D Liquid does not.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 days of treatment, or if you also have stomach bloating.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.

Imodium dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diarrhea -- Acute:

Tablets, capsules, and liquid:
Initial: 4 mg orally after the first loose stool, then
Maintenance: 2 mg after each loose stool, not to exceed 16 mg in any 24-hour period. Clinical improvement is usually observed within 48 hours.
Chewable tablets:
Initial: 4 mg after the first loose stool, then
Maintenance: 2 mg after each subsequent loose stool, but not exceeding 8 mg in 24 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Diarrhea -- Chronic:

Tablets, capsules, and liquid:
Initial: 4 mg orally once followed by 2 mg orally after each loose stool, not to exceed 16 mg in any 24-hour period.
Maintenance: The average daily maintenance dosage is 4 to 8 mg. Clinical improvement is usually observed within 10 days. If clinical improvement is not observed at a maximum dosage of 16 mg for duration of 10 days, symptoms are unlikely to be controlled by further administration.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Diarrhea -- Acute:

2 to 6 years (13 to 20 kg):
Liquid formulation only to be used in this age group.
Initial: 1 mg orally 3 times a day for the first day, then
Maintenance: 0.1 mg/kg/dose after each loose stool, but not exceeding initial dose.

6 to 8 years (20 to 30 kg):
Tablets, capsules, and liquid:
Initial: 2 mg orally twice a day for the first day, then
Maintenance: 0.1 mg/kg/dose after each loose stool, but not exceeding initial dose.
Chewable tablets:
Initial: 2 mg orally after the first loose stool, then
Maintenance: 1 mg orally after each subsequent loose stool, but not exceeding 4 mg in 24 hours.

8 to 12 years (greater than 30 kg):
Tablets, capsules, and liquid:
Initial: 2 mg orally 3 times a day for the first day, then
Maintenance: 0.1 mg/kg/dose after each loose stool, but not exceeding initial dose.
Chewable tablets:
Initial: 2 mg orally after the first loose stool, then
Maintenance: 1 mg orally after each subsequent loose stool, but not exceeding 6 mg in 24 hours.

12 to 18 years:
Tablets, chewable tablets, capsules, and liquid:
Initial: 4 mg after the first loose stool, then
Maintenance: 2 mg after each subsequent loose stool, but not exceeding 8 mg in 24 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Diarrhea -- Chronic:

less than 2 years:
Therapeutic dose for the treatment of chronic diarrhea has not been established for this patient population.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Imodium is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, drowsiness, little or no urination, severe stomach cramps, or constipation.

What should I avoid while taking Imodium?

Avoid drinking tonic water. It can interact with loperamide and may cause serious heart problems.

Imodium may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you are taking an antibiotic and you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use Imodium to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

Imodium side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Imodium: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • stomach pain or bloating;

  • ongoing or worsening diarrhea;

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common Imodium side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • dry mouth;

  • constipation;

  • stomach discomfort; or

  • nausea and vomiting.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Imodium?

Loperamide can cause a serious heart problem, especially if you use certain medicines at the same time. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Imodium if you are also using any of the following drugs, especially:

  • gemfibrozil;

  • quinidine (a heart rhythm medicine);

  • quinine (anti-malaria medicine);

  • ritonavir;

  • stomach acid reducers--cimetidine, ranitidine;

  • an antibiotic--clarithromycin, erythromycin; or

  • antifungal medicine--itraconazole, ketoconazole.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with loperamide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Imodium.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Imodium only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2016 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2016-06-15, 11:57:27 AM.

Hide