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Antidiarrheal Medicines for Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Topic Overview

If you have mild inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) and diarrhea is your main symptom, you may be able to treat it with an antidiarrheal medicine.

Take antidiarrheals only under your doctor's supervision. Stop taking them if you have a fever or severe belly pain. If you have been taking antidiarrheals for 10 days and still have diarrhea, check with your doctor.

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Microscopic colitis is a type of inflammation of the colon, or large intestine, that can cause watery diarrhea and cramping. While it can be painful and unpleasant, it's much less severe than other types of inflammatory bowel disease. It's called microscopic because the inflammation is too small to see with the naked eye. The only way your doctor can diagnose it is to take a sample of tissue and check it under a microscope. There are two types of microscopic colitis: Collagenous colitis ...

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Some of these medicines, such as loperamide (Imodium, for example), are available without a prescription. Others, such as diphenoxylate (Lomotil, for example), are available only with a prescription.

These medicines contain ingredients that slow or stop the painful spasms in your intestines that cause symptoms. They can be dangerous if you use them when you have moderate or severe inflammation of the colon, because they can cause a serious complication called toxic megacolon in which the colon swells to many times its normal size.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 08, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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