There are two types of medicines that help stop diarrhea, those that thicken the stool and those that slow intestinal
Thickening mixtures (such as
psyllium) absorb water. This helps bulk up the stool and make it more firm.
products slow the spasms of the intestine. Loperamide (the active ingredient in
products such as Imodium and Pepto Diarrhea Control) is an example of this
type of preparation. Some products contain both thickening and antispasmodic
Use antidiarrheals if you have diarrhea for longer than 6 hours. Do not use these medicines if you have bloody diarrhea, a high fever, or other signs of serious illness.
Long-term use is not recommended. To avoid constipation, stop taking antidiarrheal medicines as soon as stools thicken.
If your child
or teen gets
flu, do not treat the symptoms with over-the-counter
medicines that contain bismuth subsalicylate (such as Kaopectate and Pepto-Bismol). If your child has taken this kind of medicine and he or she has
changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting, call your doctor. These symptoms
could be an early sign of
Reye syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
doctor if your child younger than 12 should take these medicines.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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