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Imodium FAQs

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How does Imodium work?

Imodium works using the active ingredient Loperamide. This works by slowing down the digestive system and thus producing drier, firmer, more infrequent stools.

Imodium Plus also contains simethicone, an ingredient that helps reduce bloating, gas and flatulence.

When should I use Imodium?

The Imodium range treats diarrhoea in a number of circumstances:
  • For occasional episodes of diarrhoea.
  • For sudden attacks of diarrhoea.
  • For episodes of diarrhoea associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What shall I choose? The Capsules, Instant Melts, or Imodium Plus?

If you have fairly straightforward diarrhoea, take Original Imodium. This is suitable for sudden or occasional episodes of diarrhoea, as well as IBS-related diarrhoea. Original Imodium comes in a capsule that needs to be swallowed: if you have trouble swallowing capsules, then Imodium Instant Melts provides an alternative. These contain exactly the same ingredient as Original Imodium, but comes in a minty tablet that melts on the tongue and does not require swallowing whole. In addition, Imodium Instant Melts are handy when you are out and about because there is no need to take them with water.

If you are suffering from bloating as well as diarrhoea, then use Imodium Plus. As well as relieving diarrhoea, this also contains a formula to relieve bloating, stomach cramps, flatulence and related stomach discomfort.

When should I avoid using Imodium?

  • If you are under 12.
  • If you are constipated.
  • If you are suffering from inflammation of the bowel.
  • If you are suffering from a serious disease such as dysentery.
  • If there is blood in the stools.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How effective is Imodium?

Imodium relieves the symptoms of diarrhoea by slowing down activity in the bowel. This relieves diarrhoea for two reasons:
  • It makes bowel movements less frequent. Therefore, you visit the loo less often.
  • Stools become more solid the longer they spend in the bowel. Therefore, because Imodium makes bowel movements less frequent, the stools have more time to solidify in the bowel.
Note, however, that diarrhoea can be caused by a number of different factors. For example, you may have caught food poisoning or drunk contaminated water; you may be an IBS sufferer; you may even just be suffering from nerves. Imodium only treats the symptoms, so if there is an underlying cause that needs investigating, then it should be rectified in conjunction with Imodium in order to prevent your symptoms from re-occurring.

How long does Imodium take to work?

Absorption times will vary depending on your body and other circumstances, but Imodium will usually take effect within the first hour and continue to work for a few hours thereafter. You should continue to take a capsule after each loose bowel movement, up to a maximum of 8 capsules in 24 hours.

What are the alternatives to Imodium?

Imodium is the most well-known treatment based on loperamide, but Diocalm Ultra is based on the same active ingredient if you would prefer an alternative brand.

What conditions does Imodium treat?

Imodium treats occasional or sudden diarrhoea, and some cases of IBS (see below). However, it should not be used if you have a severe gastric illness such as typhoid or cholera.

Is Imodium suitable for IBS treatment?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a catch-all term for a variety of conditions. Imodium may be suitable for you, but you may have to try it and see. At the very least, Imodium will slow down the bowel movements, which may provide some relief. However, you should not use Imodium daily in the long term unless your doctor believes that it is a good idea. There is usually an underlying reason why you have IBS, and it is better to treat that rather than just treating the symptoms with Imodium. If you are not sure, see our IBS page for more information.  


A short overview of Loperamide, the active ingredient of Imodium.   More >>>
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