The active substance loperamide belongs to the group of opioids. While many opioids act mainly in the central nervous system, loperamide unfolds its effect in the intestine. Therefore, the drug is used primarily for the treatment of acute diarrhea. Ingestion may cause side effects such as headache, fatigue, dry mouth or abdominal cramps. Learn more about the effects and dosage as well as the interactions, contraindications and side effects of loperamide.
Effectively stop diarrhea
Loperamide is used to treat acute diarrhea when the cause of diarrhea is unknown or when other treatment is not possible. If one knows what causes the symptoms, a causal therapy should be better. Because by taking the drug only the symptoms are combated.
Loperamide binds to the opioid receptors in the gut and helps to inhibit bowel movement. This reduces the frequency of defecation and the diarrhea is stopped. Despite the use of the drug should not be forgotten to counteract the loss of fluids through mineral-rich drinks.
Side effects of loperamide
Taking loperamide may cause side effects. The most common side effects include:
- a headache
- dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal complaints such as bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting
Rarely occur side effects such as intestinal paralysis or intestinal obstruction, as well as rashes and itching. If there is a defective blood-brain barrier, it can possibly lead to other side effects. In that case, the active substance can also influence the central nervous system.
Loperamide is available in the form of capsules, tablets and platelets. Capsules and tablets should be swallowed whole with some liquid, let the plates melt in the mouth.
Regarding the dosage of loperamide you should always consult a doctor or pharmacist for advice. Therefore, please understand the following dosage information only as a guideline: In general, in case of acute diarrhea, four milligrams of loperamide can be taken at the beginning. After that, another two milligrams can be given after each unformed chair. Overall, a daily dose of twelve milligrams must not be exceeded.
In children, the dosage should always be done individually by a doctor. Tablets and capsules are not suitable for children under the age of twelve due to their high content of active ingredients. For children over the age of twelve, no more than eight milligrams per day and no more than two milligrams per single dose may be given.
In case of acute diarrhea, loperamide should be used for a maximum of two consecutive days as otherwise severe blockage may occur. In the longer term, the active substance may only be taken under medical supervision.
Interactions with other drugs
If loperamide is taken with other medicines at the same time, interactions can occur. For example, concomitant use of quinidine, ketoconazole, doxepin and verapamil may cause respiratory depression.
Likewise, interactions are possible in conjunction with the AIDS drug ritonavir. If an inflamed abdomen occurs in AIDS patients after ingestion, the intake must be stopped immediately.
Loperamide should not be used if hypersensitivity to the active substance is present. Similarly, the active ingredient should not be taken if a slowing of the intestinal movement must be prevented. This is the case with intestinal paralysis or intestinal obstruction, but also constipation or flatulence.
In addition, loperamide should also not be taken at
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotic use.
- Intestinal diseases caused by bacteria (eg Salmonella).
- Diarrhea associated with fever or blood in the stool.
- an acute ulcerative colitis thrust.
Patients suffering from liver disease or chronic diarrhea should take the active substance only after a careful cost-benefit analysis by the attending physician.
Loperamide during pregnancy
Loperamide should not be taken during pregnancy as there is not enough experience of possible consequences. Since the active substance can pass into breast milk in small quantities, it should be better avoided during lactation.
Likewise, the drug should not be used in children under two years. For older children between the ages of two and twelve, loperamide should only be used after careful consideration by the attending physician. Since the tablets and capsules are usually overdosed, the doctor should prescribe other dosage forms here. The dosage must be calculated individually depending on the body weight.