Imodium is designed to slow digestion through the small intestines so that the body can absorb more nutrients and fluid from the items you eat. This is commonly used as a treatment of diarrhea, but it can also be used to treat the symptoms of ileostomy which occurs after the digestive tract of the stomach has been surgically re-routed. Imodium will not cure diarrhea, but will only treat the symptoms, so it is important to work with your doctor to manage your condition effectively.

What Is Imodium Used For?

Imodium is a prescription drug which can be used in people of 12 years old and older to manage the symptoms of acute diarrhea or those with diarrhea symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. A doctor can also provide a prescription for Imodium for those that have worsening, long-term diarrhea or chronic long-term diarrhea. Prescription Imodium is available in capsule form for those over the age of 8 and liquid for those over 4.

How to Take Imodium

1. Read the Instructions

Before you take any sort of over-the-counter medication, you should read all the instructions or notes from your doctor. If you have any questions, speak to the pharmacist before taking your first dose. Imodium is designed to be taken orally with doses corresponding to the weight of the patient taking it. Typically you will take a dose of Imodium after each loose stool, though prescription Imodium may need to be taken in 16ml doses according to your doctor’s instructions.

2. Take Tablets on an Empty Stomach

Those that are using the chewable tablet form of this medication should take their dose on an empty stomach. Those using rapidly dissolving tablets do not need water to take this medication, but should allow the tablet to dissolve naturally without crushing or chewing it. Swallow the medication using natural saliva.

3. Take Enough Fluids

Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so getting plenty of fluids is important. It may be necessary to follow a bland diet to avoid increased irritation to the digestive system. If your diarrhea does not improve after 2 days, you cannot get the nutrition you need or you are showing signs of dehydration, you should contact your doctor.

4. Talk to Your Doctor If Necessary

Also speak to a medical professional if you believe that your diarrhea is caused by another medical condition or 10 days of Imodium treatment have not improved your symptoms.


  • For children over 12 years old

Those over the age of 12 typically take an initial 4mg dose of Imodium with an additional 2mg after each case of loose stool. Doses should not exceed 8mg for those self-medicating or 16mg for those using a prescription.

  • For children under 12 years old

Children 8-12 with acute diarrhea can take 2mg three times a day for the initial day of treatment followed by .1mg/kg of body weight following a period of lose stool. Initial doses of Imodium should be lowered to 2mg three times a day for those 6-8 years old and 1mg three times a day for those 2-5.

  • For Different Types of Diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea sufferers can take 4-8mg per day until control of the bowel movements can be achieved. Children with chronic diarrhea can be given 0.08-0.24mg/kg of body weight each day divided into two daily doses. Doses should be given every 12 hours.

Children 6-12 with traveler’s diarrhea can take 2mg after their first loose stool and 1mg after each stool following. Those over the age of 12 may receive an initial dose of 4mg. Those using Imodium for traveler’s diarrhea should not take doses exceeding 4mg for those 6-8 or 6mg for those 8-12. Those over 12 should not take more than 8mg daily.

More Tips for Taking Imodium

  • Do not use Imodium if you have black, tarry or bloody stool, or if you are allergic to loperamide or are experiencing diarrhea as a result of using antibiotics.
  • Before you use Imodium, tell your doctor if you are using antibiotics, have mucus in the stool, a history of liver disease or a fever.
  • Work to drink plenty of fluids while using Imodium.
  • It can take up to 48 hours for diarrhea symptoms to improve. Continue to use Imodium for the time stated by your doctor and contact your doctor only if your symptoms do not improve after 10 days of using this medication.
  • Imodium can impair your ability to remain alert or alter your thinking and actions. Take care before doing any activities that require you to be alert such as driving.

What Are the Side Effects of Imodium?

Less severe side effects of Imodium can include drowsiness, dizziness, mild stomach pain, itching, mild skin rash or constipation.

Stop taking Imodium if you start to see more severe side effects including ongoing/worsening diarrhea, stomach bloating or pain, diarrhea that is bloody or watery or a sever skin reaction that includes pain, burning in the eyes, red or purple skin rash, blistering, peeling, fever or sore throat.

If you start showing signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling of the face, tongue, throat or lips, hives or difficulty breathing, contact emergency medical services immediately.

More Facts About Imodium

1. Those Who Should Not Take Imodium

You should not use Imodium if you are allergic to loperamide. Those experiencing diarrhea as a response to using antibiotics or having black or bloody diarrhea should not use this medication.

If you have mucus in the stool, a history of liver disease, use antibiotics or have a fever, ask your doctor before you use Imodium.

2. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

You should let your doctor know if you are pregnant or could become pregnant before you use this medication. Youshould also not breastfeed while using Imodium as it can pass through the breast milk and impact a nursing baby. Do not give Imodium to a child without speaking to your doctor first.

You should only take Imodium while pregnant if your doctor determines that the benefits outweigh the risks. There is no information regarding the safety of using Imodium while pregnant, so do not seek an over the counter dose of Imodium without speaking to your doctor.