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Loperamide is an over-the-counter medication commonly used to treat diarrhea. It functions by slowing down the movement of the gut, which decreases the frequency of bowel movements.

Last Modified: 10 May 2024

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What is Loperamide? 

Loperamide is an over-the-counter medication commonly used to treat diarrhea. It functions by slowing down the movement of the gut, which decreases the frequency of bowel movements. 

Loperamide's structure consists of a synthetic piperidine derivative, which acts on the opioid receptors in the gut. 

Global Name

Generic name: Loperamide
Brand name: Imodium, Diamode, and Lopex.


What is Loperamide used for? 

Loperamide is used for the symptomatic relief of acute, chronic, or travelers' diarrhea. It is also sometimes used for managing diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or following gastrointestinal surgery. 

How do you use Loperamide? 


Loperamide is available in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms.

Dosage information: 

  • Adults: 4 mg initially, followed by 2 mg after each loose stool, not to exceed 16 mg per day. 
  • Children: Dosage varies based on age and weight. Children under 2 years should not use it. 


  • Children: Yes, but with pediatrician guidance for those over 2 years. 
  • Adults: Those with a history of hypersensitivity/ allergy to Loperamide or any of its components, should not take this medicine. 
  • Elderlies: Yes, with caution and under medical advice. 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Consult a healthcare provider before use. 

Warnings and precautions:

  • Loperamide should be used as a short-term solution for diarrhea and not for prolonged use without medical advice. 
  • It should be taken with food if it causes an upset stomach. 

Interactions and contraindications of the drug: 

  • Loperamide can interact with certain medications like saquinavir and quinidine. 
  • Contraindicated in individuals with abdominal pain without diarrhea, or with bacterial enterocolitis. 

Side Effects

  • Side effects may include constipation, dizziness, and dry mouth. 
  • Serious side effects can include abdominal pain or distention, intestinal obstruction, and skin reactions. 

Pharmacist Tips

Hydration is Key: 

  • When treating diarrhea with loperamide, it's important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids to replace lost electrolytes. 

Dietary Considerations: 

  • While using loperamide, eat bland foods to ease your stomach and avoid dairy products until your diarrhea subsides. 

Medication Storage: 

  • Keep loperamide in its original package, at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. 

Handling Missed Doses: 

  • If you miss a dose of loperamide, take it as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule. 


Where is Loperamide available in Hong Kong?

Loperamide is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can be sold without a prescription. It is found in all chain drug stores, including Mannings and Watsons.


Is Loperamide for purchase over-the-counter?

Yes, loperamide is available over-the-counter for the treatment of diarrhea.

Can Loperamide be used for long-term?

It's typically used for short-term relief; long-term use should be under medical supervision and specific medical conditions (e.g. short bowel syndrome).

Should I take Loperamide with food?

It can be taken with or without food but taking it with food might help if you are experiencing stomach upset.

How long does it take for Loperamide to work?

Loperamide usually begins to take effect within 1 to 3 hours after taking the drug, helping to reduce the frequency and urgency of bowel movements. However, it may vary based on individual response and the severity of symptoms. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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