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Imodium capsules (Loperamide hydrochloride)

Last updated on October 26, 2021

Imodium capsules. Loperamide hydrochloride

What Imodium capsules are and what they are used for

The name of your medicine is Imodium capsules.

What Imodium capsules are used for

Imodium capsules are used:

  • To treat sudden short-lived (acute) attacks of diarrhoea in adults and children over 8 years of age
  • To treat long-lasting (chronic) diarrhoea in adults

How Imodium capsules work

Imodium capsules contain a medicine called Loperamide Hydrochloride. It belongs to a group of medicines which helps reduce diarrhoea by slowing down an overactive bowel. It also helps the body to absorb more water and salts from the bowel.

Before you use Imodium capsules

Do not use Imodium capsules if:

  • You are allergic to anything in Imodium capsules (listed in section 6 below)
  • You have severe diarrhoea after taking antibiotics
  • You are having a flare up of ulcerative colitis
  • You are constipated or your stomach appears swollen (particularly in children with severe dehydration)
  • Your child is less than 8 years old

Imodium capsules (Loperamide hydrochloride)Imodium syrup can be used for children over 4 years old

Do not use this medicine if any of the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Imodium capsules.

Take special care with Imodium capsules

Check with your doctor before using Imodium capsules if:

  • You have acute dysentery, the symptoms of which may include blood in your stools and a high temperature. You will also need to be given other medicines to treat this
  • You suffer from liver problems
  • You have AIDS and your stomach becomes swollen. Stop taking the capsules immediately and contact your doctor

You may still be able to use Imodium capsules, but you should discuss this with your doctor first.

Replacing fluid and salts

Imodium capsules only treat the symptoms of diarrhoea. When you have diarrhoea, your body loses large amounts of fluid and salts. You should therefore replace this lost fluid by drinking more than normal. This is especially important for children.

Your doctor may also give you a special powder containing sugar and salts (known as oral rehydration therapy) to help your body replace the fluid and salts lost during diarrhoea.

Taking other medicines

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines. This includes medicines that you buy without a prescription or herbal medicines.

In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following:

  • ritonavir (used to treat HIV)
  • quinidine (used to treat abnormal heart rhythms or malaria)
  • oral desmopressin (used to treat excessive urination).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Tell your doctor before taking Imodium capsules if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or might become pregnant.

Do not take this medicine if you are breast-feeding as small amounts may get into your milk. Talk to your doctor about a suitable treatment.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Driving or using machines

This medicine may make you feel dizzy, tired or sleepy. You may also lose consciousness, feel faint or less alert. If affected do not drive or operate machinery.

Important information about some of the ingredients of Imodium capsules

Imodium capsules contain lactose. If your doctor has told you that you are intolerant of some sugars, discuss it with them before taking this medicine.

How to use Imodium capsules

Always use Imodium capsules exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

Taking this medicine

  • Take this medicine by mouth
  • Swallow the correct number of capsules whole with a drink of water

How much to take

The dose of Imodium capsules that you will need will depend on whether your diarrhoea is a sudden attack (acute) or a long-lasting condition (chronic).

Short-lived (acute) diarrhoea
  • Take 2 capsules straight away
  • From then on take 1 capsule after each episode of diarrhoea
  • You can take this medicine for up to 5 days
  • Never take more than 8 capsules in any 24 hour period
Children aged 9-12 years old
  • Take 1 capsule 4 times a day until diarrhoea is controlled
  • You can take this medicine for up to 5 days
Children under 8 years old
  • Imodium capsules are not recommended for children under 8 years old
  • Imodium syrup can be used for children over 4 years old

If you are not getting better within 2 days of taking your first dose of Imodium capsules, go back to your doctor. He or she may want to examine you to check on why you have diarrhoea.

Long-lasting (chronic) diarrhoea
  • Your doctor will tell you how many Imodium capsules to take. This will depend on how serious your condition is
  • You will probably start with a dose of between 2 and 4 capsules spread out over a day
  • Your doctor will find the dose that suits you best. He or she may then suggest you take the capsules twice a day
  • Never take more than 8 capsules in any 24 hour period
  • Imodium capsules are not recommended for long-lasting (chronic) diarrhoea.

If you forget to take Imodium capsules

  • You should only take this medicine as required following the dosage instructions above carefully
  • If you forget to take a dose, take a dose after the next loose stool (bowel movement)
  • Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose

If you use more Imodium capsules than you should

If you take more Imodium capsules than you were told to or if someone else has taken any, talk to a doctor or go to the nearest hospital casualty department straight away.

If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Imodium capsules (Loperamide hydrochloride)Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Imodium capsules can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Stop using Imodium capsules and tell your doctor straight away if you notice or suspect any of the following. You may need urgent medical treatment.

Very rare (affects less than 1 in 10,000 people)

Sudden swelling of the face, lips or throat. Hives (also known as nettle rash or urticaria), severe irritation, reddening or blistering of your skin. These may be signs of a severe allergic reaction

  • Blistering of your skin, mouth, eyes and genitals
  • Stomach pain or severe swollen stomach
  • Severe constipation
  • Loss of consciousness or reduced level of consciousness (feeling faint or less alert)

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects while using Imodium capsules:

Very rare (affects less than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • Itchy skin and rash
  • Difficulty passing water

Other side effects which may occur:

Very rare (affects less than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • Feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting), indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Wind
  • Feeling drowsy or dizzy

Other side effects that may be due to the medicine or diarrhoea:

  • Feeling tired
  • Dry mouth

If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any other side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store Imodium capsules

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.

Do not use Imodium capsules after the expiry date which is stated on the label. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. These measures will help protect the environment. Return any leftover Imodium capsules to your pharmacist.

Further information

The active substance in Imodium capsules is loperamide hydrochloride. Each Imodium capsule contains 2 mg of loperamide hydrochloride.

The other ingredients are lactose, maize starch, talc and magnesium stearate. The capsule itself is made up of titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxides (E172), indigo carmine (E132), erythrosine (E127) and gelatin.

What Imodium capsules look like and contents of the pack

Imodium capsules are green/grey capsules marked ‘Imodium‘ and ‘JANSSEN’. They are available in blister packs of 30 capsules or tubs of 250 capsules (for the pharmacist).

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