Loperamide is a potent synthetic ant diuretic with a local effect on the bowel wall. Loperamide with its anti peristaltic myometrial effect prevents loss of water and electrolytes from the body.
Loperamide acts locally, ie directly on the intestinal wall where it binds itself to opiate receptors by which it slows down peristalsis.
Loperamide is characterized by a large therapeutic range; Although it is a derivative of haloperidol (antipsychotics) it does not affect the central nervous system or cardiovascular system. It is excreted mainly through the feces, partly in an unchanged form, partly in the form of electrolyte.
It is used for the symptomatic treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea of non infectional causes. Loperamide is not taken when prevention of peristalsis must be avoided to, ie with patients with severe colitis and pseudomembranic colitis, the occurrence of acute ulcerative colitis, ileus, constipation, but it is not used with infectious diarrhea (intestinal infection), because blockade of diarrhea can only help toxins to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
The active ingredient in some medications marketed as Kaopectate or Imodium is lopermide hydrochloride. It is not necessary to have a doctor’s prescription to buy these medications. They are being sold over- the-counter. It is necessary to treat diarrhea immediately and for this lopermide hydrochloride is being used. If the symptoms last more than a few days during the treatment with this medication, medical care might be needed.
Lopermide hydrochloride slows down the movements inside intestines and it changes electrolytes and water movement through bowels. It takes about 48 hours for medication to put the diarrhea symptoms under the control (stated by the Drugs.com).
Lopermide hydrochloride comes both in capsule or liquid form.
Loperamide hydrochloride Dosage
The instructions on the medicine package should be followed when taking the medication. Adults, normally, take two capsules or two tea spoons of medication after the first episode of diarrhea and after any other subsequent diarrhea episode a patient should take only either one capsule or tea spoon. It is recommended to take it with a glass of water.
The medication should not be taken:
- More than three dosages a day
- In case of a black or bloody stool
- If the diarrhea episodes are consequences of taking antibiotics
Side Effects of Loperamide hydrochloride
Side effects of this medicine include constipation, dizziness, allergic reaction( in some patients allergic reaction may occur as fever, sore throat, a severe rash or even continued diarrhea), and most often the medication causes dry mouth( eating candies or chewing gum may help to mitigate this side effect).
Loperamide hydrochloride is mainly given to treat the symptoms of the disease. The aim is to cause the muscle movement to slow down in order to absorb more water from the stool so it becomes firmer and less frequent. In order to avoid dehydration, patients using Loperamide hydrochloride should drink lots of liquid ( water is preferred).
Children under 2 should not be taking Loperamide hydrochloride.
Important fact about Loperamide hydrochloride
If a patient purchases unperscribed Loperamide hydrochloride and his or her symptoms do not get any better or if they get even worse within 24 hours after taking the medication for the first time, he or she should consult his or her physician for a consult.
With irritable bowel syndrome Loperamide hydrochloride is not be used more than two weeks. If symptom treatment with Loperamide hydrochloride is not effective enough, a patient should consult his or her prescriber.
Loperamide Side Effects
Loperamide is applied for short-term control and to alleviate symptoms of diarrhea. The intensity of diarrhea can range from mild (3 to 4 rare, watery stools a day) to severe (10 or more stools a day), and may be accompanied by weakness, flatulence, pain, fever or vomiting. Anti-diarrhea drugs act in various mechanisms.
Side Effects of Loperamide
Loperamide is actually well tolerated. It does not lead to serious side effects, which demanded the termination of therapy.
Avoid taking the drug in case of fever or the presence of blood in the stool.
The drug is avoided if the suspected cause of diarrhea is the one which is capable of penetrating through the intestine wall.
- In patients where constipation is unwanted
- Pregnant women and during lactation
- For children under 2 years
In case of overdose of loperamide may occur constipation, miosis, muscular hypertonia, somnolence, bradipnea.
It’s useful to know:
• When taking anti-diarrhea medicines, is vital to compensate the fluid lost due to the disease with lots of water and other clear liquids
• Loperamide is not recommended for children younger than three years and geriatric patients. With the application of this medicine doctor’s recommendation must be complied with.
• With elevated temperatures, or if stool contains blood or mucus, do not take loperamide. These are symptoms of dysentery, infections of the lower part of the intestinal tract. Contact your doctor if you suspect dysentery.
Adults and children over 5 years
Acute diarrhea: the initial dose is 4 mg (2 tablets) for adults and 2 mg (1 tablet) for children. The therapy continues to 1 tablet after each unformed stool.
Chronic diarrhea: the initial dose is 4 mg (2 tablets) for adults and 2 mg (1 tablet) for children. This dose is further adjusted to the condition of the patient, until they reach 1-2 solid stools.
The maximum loperamide dose for adults in the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea is 16mg (8 tablets) per day, and for the children over 5 years maximum daily dose is 8-12mg (4-6 tablets).
Loperamide dosage for children from 2-5 years
For acute diarrhea, a drop at 2 kg BW (0.08mg/2kg TM) 2-3 times a day.
With chronic diarrhea dosage is individual. The maximum daily dose is 2-3 drops or 0.24mg / kg bw.