Loperamide

  • Treats chronic diarrhoea
  • Eases symptoms
  • Reduces contractions from the intestines
From As low as £16.99
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prescription included

Fast next day delivery

order before 2pm

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and team of dispensers

TrustScore 4.8

347 customer reviews

What is Loperamide?

Loperamide is most commonly known by its brand name, Imodium. This medication is an opioid with minimum absorption from the gut.

Available to buy in the form of capsules or liquid, it contains the active ingredient loperamide hydrochloride.

You are able to purchase 2mg capsules Loperamide from a registered pharmacy like Medicine Direct.

What is Loperamide used for?

Loperamide is most commonly used to treat chronic diarrhoea associated with conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and travellers diarrhoea. Loperamide acts as an anti-diarrhoeal agent, helping to manage symptoms.

This medication slows the contractions of the intestines, acting as an effective form of diarrhoea relief.

Who can take Loperamide?

Loperamide capsules are available to purchase from pharmacies and supermarkets for diarrhoea relief, usually in packets of 30 capsules. They are also available on prescription.

You can purchase these capsules without a prescription for:

  • Adults with IBS diarrhoea, as long as your doctor has previously diagnosed you with IBS
  • Anyone over the age of 12 who has short-term diarrhoea

If you are unsure whether or not you have IBS, you should speak to your doctor.

You will require a prescription for any of the below:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Children age 12 to 17 years old with IBS or long lasting diarrhoea
  • Adults aged 18 and over with long lasting diarrhoea

Children under the age of 12 should never be given Loperamide unless it is prescribed by a doctor.

If any of the below apply to you, you should not take this medicine:

  • You are constipated or your stomach looks swollen
  • You have severe diarrhoea after taking antibiotics
  • You are suffering from an inflammatory bowel condition such as ulcerative colitis and have recently had a flare-up

You should consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking Loperamide if:

  • You are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • You have had diarrhoea for more than 48 hours
  • You have liver problems
  • You are unable to digest certain sugars
  • You have blood in your stools and a temperature higher than 38C
  • You have AIDS and your stomach becomes swollen
  • You have previously had an allergic reaction to Loperamide or any other medication

If you have diarrhoea with IBS, you should also consult your doctor before taking this medicine if:

  • You suffer bad constipation
  • You are over the age of 40 and it's been a while since your last IBS attack
  • You are over the age of 40 and your IBS symptoms are different this time
  • You have lost weight or lost your appetite
  • You have recently had blood in your stools
  • You have recently been abroad
  • You have a temperature of more than 38C
  • You are feeling sick or vomiting
  • You have trouble urinating or find it painful to do so

Possible side effects

As with any medicine, there is a risk of suffering from side effects when you take Loperamide.

There are several common side effects associated with Loperamide. If these symptoms bother you or persist, you should speak to your doctor:

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Wind
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

Loperamide Dosage

Loperamide capsules should be swallowed whole with a drink of water.

The dose you should take will depend on your symptoms and age.

For adults with diarrhoea and IBS

Take two capsules straight away, followed by one capsule after each runny bowel movement.

You should stop taking Loperamide as soon as your symptoms settle down. Do not take it for more than 48 hours without speaking to your doctor.

You should not exceed the recommended maximum daily dose. If you have bought them from a shop, this will be 6 capsules in a 24 hour period.

If you have bought them from a pharmacy or have been prescribed them, this will be 8 capsules.

Diarrhoea relief for adults with long lasting diarrhoea

Most cases of diarrhoea will be resolved in 5 to 7 days, but if it persists after 7 days, you should speak to your doctor to get to the root of the problem.

The usual starting dose for this medicine is 2 to 4 capsules, spread throughout the day. You will likely be given a packet of 30 capsules.

Some patients may need higher doses, such as if they suffer from stoma, but the dosage should only be increased if advised by a doctor.

Diarrhoea relief for children

Children over the age of 12 who have short term diarrhoea do not need a prescription for Loperamide.

If they are aged 12 to 17 and have IBS or long lasting diarrhoea, they will need to be prescribed this medicine.

Loperamide FAQ's

How will it treat my symptoms?


Loperamide is used to treat diarrhoea by slowing down the contractions of your intestines, providing effective relief of this condition.

Can I buy Loperamide over the counter?


Loperamide is available to buy in the high street, in supermarkets and through a registered pharmacy such as Medicine Direct. We sell packets of 30 capsules on our site. People of certain ages or with existing conditions may require a prescription for this medicine.

What causes diarrhoea?


Diarrhoea is usually caused by a bowel infection (gastroenteritis). Infections usually occur thanks to viruses such as norovirus or rotavirus, parasites which spread in contaminated water, or bacteria that is often found in contaminated food. You may catch these infections if you go abroad, especially to places which have low standards of public hygiene.

How should I store these tablets?


Keep your diarrhoea relief capsules out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and moisture

What if I forget to take a dose?


If you miss a dose, just take another dose after the next time you go to the toilet and have a runny bowel movement.

What if I take too much?


Do not take more than is recommended by your doctor. Do not double up if you forget to take a dose. Accidentally taking an extra dose of Loperamide is unlikely to harm you, although higher doses than recommended can lead to serious heart problems, including an increased or irregular heartbeat. If you take more than one extra dose, you should consult your doctor of pharmacist.

Loperamide Side Effects

Experiencing serious side effects while using Loperamide capsules is rare. However, if you do experience one or more of the below symptoms, you need to contact your doctor immediately:

  • Your movement becomes clumsy or uncoordinated
  • You feel faint or less alert
  • You have passed out

In very rare cases, you may suffer a serious allergic reaction to Loperamide (anaphylaxis).

If any of these symptoms affect you, you should either call 999 or go to A&E immediately as you may need hospital treatment:

  • You have tightness in the chest or throat
  • Your mouth, lips, tongue, face or throat begins to swell
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • You are wheezing
  • You get a skin rash that is red, blistered, peeling, swollen or itchy

This list is note exhaustive, you should read the patient information leaflet that will be inside your medicine's packet.

 

Loperamide Warnings and drug interactions

There are certain medicines which could interfere with the effectiveness of Loperamide.

Before taking this medicine, you should check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are currently using:

  • Any other medicines for diarrhoea relief, constipation or stomach/bowel conditions
  • Quinidine
  • Ritonavir
  • Desmopressin
  • Itraconazole or Ketoconazole
  • Gemfibrozil

If you require severe diarrhoea relief and take metformin for diabetes, medicines for high blood pressure or heart failure, you should speak to your doctor before taking Loperamide. You might be instructed to cease using these medicines for a few days until your diarrhoea has gone.

You should also inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently using any herbal remedies, vitamins, prescription or non-prescription medicines or supplements.

Pregnancy and breast feeding warning

It is not recommended to take loperamide during pregnancy. Due to the small amount of loperamide secreated in breast milk, it is not advised to take loperamide when breastfeeding. Always speak to your doctor before taking medication when pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding. 

Loperamide Ingredients

The active ingredient in 2mg capsules Loperamide is loperamide hydrochloride.

Inactive ingredients within these capsules are: Lactose, Maize Starch, Talc and Magnesium Stearate (E572).

The capsule comprises of: Titanium Dioxide (E171), Black Ferrous Oxide (E172), Yellow Ferric Oxide (E172), Indigo Carmine (E132), Erythrosine (E127) and Gelatin.

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

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This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh - Doctor's Profile

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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