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Treatment Information

Table of contents

Patient Reviews: How Loperamide Has Made a Difference

Buy Loperamide Online

Loperamide is an anti-diarrhoeal medication offered as 2 mg hard capsules for the treatment of short-term diarrhoea or diarrhoea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The medicine works by slowing the frequency of muscle contractions within the bowels, which helps to improve the symptoms of diarrhoea.

Loperamide is also sold under the brand name Imodium.

To order Loperamide online at Prescription Doctor, you need to complete our online medical form for one of our doctors to review. If our doctor approves the treatment, a prescription will be issued to our UK based dispensing pharmacy.

All orders are dispatched in discreet packaging to maintain your privacy. If your order is approved before 3pm on a weekday, our pharmacy will dispatch your order the same day for a guaranteed next-day delivery.

What is diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is the medical name for loose or watery stools. The symptom can be caused by several conditions including a bacterial or viral infection, anxiety, food intolerances, or underlying health conditions which affect the bowels, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Diarrhoea is caused by excess water in the stools.

When infection or food intolerances cause stool matter to pass through the bowels faster than normal, the body cannot absorb the water from the stool as effectively, resulting in diarrhoea.

Why is it important to treat diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea causes the body to lose fluids, which can result in dehydration.

Symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Fainting
  • Faster breathing
  • Headaches
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sunken eyes

Treating diarrhoea can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing dehydration.

You must understand that Loperamide will not rehydrate you itself. You need to keep your fluids topped up during the day to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated.

Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, such as beer, coffee, wine, or energy drinks, as these can worsen your diarrhoea and contribute to dehydration. Instead, drink water or fruit juices. Soups can also help with dehydration.

How does Loperamide work?

Loperamide works by causing the movement of stool matter in your bowels to slow down. This increases the time it stays in the bowel, causing more water and electrolytes to be absorbed, so your stool can return to its normal form.

While Loperamide allows more water to be absorbed from stool matter in the bowel, it does not promote rehydration. Therefore, you must remain hydrated while treating diarrhoea by drinking plenty of water.

How do I take Loperamide?

Follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.

The Loperamide dose prescribed will be based on the type of diarrhoea you have; acute, short-term or chronic diarrhoea related to ongoing IBS.

For adults with acute diarrhoea:

Take two 2 mg capsules for the initial dose, then one capsule after every loose bowel movement.

For adults with IBS:

Take two 2 mg capsules for the initial dose and one capsule after every loose bowel movement. Continue to take the medication for up to two weeks for an IBS attack.

Swallow Loperamide capsules with a glass of water.

Do not take more Loperamide than recommended.

Do not take more than six capsules in one 24-hour period. This drug in excessive doses is linked to fast or irregular heartbeats.

Contact your doctor if there is no improvement in your symptoms within 48 hours of taking Loperamide.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Loperamide?

If you forget to take a dose of Loperamide, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose.

Do not take more Loperamide to make up for a missed dose.

What should I do if I take too much Loperamide?

If you take too much Loperamide, go to the hospital casualty department. Taking too much Loperamide can lead to serious heart problems.

Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctors know exactly what you have taken.

Loperamide side effects and cautions

Before you start taking Loperamide, you must read the accompanying patient information leaflet. The patient information leaflet contains instructions on how to store, use and dispose Loperamide capsules, as well as important information regarding the medicine's safety.

You can read the Loperamide patient information leaflet online.

All medicines carry the risk of side effects, though not everybody gets them. Before taking Loperamide for the first time, it is important to familiarise yourself with the patient information leaflet (PIL) enclosed with your medication. If you have any concerns about the information in the leaflet, contact your doctor or a pharmacist for advice.

Who should not take Loperamide?

Loperamide isn't suitable for everyone. If you are unsure whether it is safe for you to take Loperamide, speak to your doctor.

Speak to your doctor before taking Loperamide if you:

  • are constipated or have a history of severe constipation
  • are dehydrated
  • are diagnosed with liver disease
  • are lactose intolerant
  • are over the age of 40 and have not had an IBS attack for a while
  • are over the age of 40 and this IBS attack is different from others
  • are vomiting or nauseous
  • cannot or have trouble passing urine
  • currently have a fever
  • have an inflamed intestine or an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • have travelled abroad recently
  • have unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
  • see blood in your stool

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications which could interact with Loperamide:

  • Any medication for your stomach
  • Gemfibrozil for high cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Itraconazole for fungal infection
  • Ketoconazole for fungus or yeast infections
  • Quinidine for abnormal heart rhythms or malaria
  • Ritonavir for HIV

Do not take Loperamide to treat IBS flair ups unless your doctor has diagnosed you with the disease.

If you have HIV/AIDS, stop taking the medication if you notice bloating in your stomach or if you become constipated.


Do not take Loperamide if you are allergic to any of its ingredients listed below:

  • Loperamide hydrochloride
  • Lactose monohydrate
  • Maize starch
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Gelatin
  • Certain dyes such as Quinoline yellow, Indigo Carmine, Erythrosine, Titanium dioxide, black iron oxide

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking Loperamide and go straight to your nearest A&E department. Take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Speak to your doctor before taking Loperamide if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or trying for a baby.

Do not take this medication if you are breastfeeding as it can be passed to your infant through breast milk.

Side effects

If you experience any of the following side effects after taking Loperamide, stop taking Loperamide and seek emergency medical attention:

  • Bowel obstruction (severe constipation, pain, bloating and nauseousness after eating)
  • Erythema multiforme (blisters with dark spots in the middle like a target)
  • Loss or reduced level of consciousness
  • Megacolon (widening of the colon with abdominal pain, fever and rapid heart rate)
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (rash with blisters and skin that peels, usually around the mouth, nose, eyes and genitals)
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (widespread rash with peeling skin)
  • Unable to pass urine

Common Loperamide side effects may include:

  • Constipation
  • Flatulence (Wind)
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Uncommon/rare Loperamide side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Indigestion
  • Rash
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Narrowing of the pupils
  • Tightening of the muscles

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. More information regarding the safety of this medicine can be found in the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, whether listed above or in the patient information leaflet, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for assistance.

Other safety information

Always read the enclosed patient information leaflet before you start taking Loperamide.

If you have any questions about Loperamide or your condition, feel free to ask one of our online doctors.

Do not take Loperamide past the expiry date printed on the packaging.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste, as this can harm the environment. Take any unwanted or expired medicine to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose them for you.

Always keep medicine out of the sight and reach of children and pets.

Never share your medicine with anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I stop taking Loperamide?

Do not take Loperamide longer than two weeks if you have IBS. Stop taking Loperamide if you see no improvement within 48 hours whether it is for acute or IBS-related diarrhoea.

Stop taking Loperamide if you have any serious side effects or if your doctor tells you to stop after you report side effects.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Loperamide?

Do not drink alcohol while taking Loperamide. Alcohol can worsen your symptoms of diarrhoea, increase your risk of dehydration, and may exacerbate side effects of Loperamide, such as sleepiness.

What should I do if I take too much Loperamide?

If you take too much Loperamide, go to the hospital casualty department. Too much of this medication can lead to serious heart problems.

Can I take Loperamide with other medications?

Before taking Loperamide, tell your doctor if you take any other mediciations, including over-the-counter products or herbal supplements. Your doctor will tell you which medicines are likely to negatively interact with Loperamide.

Can I drive or operate machinery after taking Loperamide?

You may experience drowsiness or dizziness after taking Loperamide. It is better to see how the drug affects you before driving a car or operating machinery.

How should I store Loperamide capsules?

Store the capsules somewhere out of sight and reach of children. Store the bottle in an area that does not get hotter than 25°C. Do not discard unused medication in with your household waste. Speak to the pharmacist to find out how to properly dispose Loperamide capsules once they expire.


Treatment information

  • Product Name: Loperamide
  • Active Ingredient(s): Loperamide hydrochloride
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Green and dark grey capsules
  • Available Strength: 2mg
  • Exemption: Pharmacy
  • Application: Men and women over 18+
  • Dosage: Take 2 capsules initially and then take 1 capsule after each loose bowel movement
  • Description: Loperamide is an antidiarrhoeal which regulates bowel movements and thickens faeces
  • Drug Class: Antidiarrhoeal
  • Alcohol Consumption: Do not consume alcohol while taking Loperamide
  • When Pregnant: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant before taking Loperamide.
  • When Breastfeeding: Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding before taking Loperamide.
  • Price: 9.99 GBP
Click here to view the Loperamide - Patient Information Leaflet

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 09/05/2019 Reviewed on: 13/03/2024

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