Antidiarrheal medicines, such as atropine and diphenoxylate (such as Lomotil) and loperamide (such as Imodium), slow intestinal movements. This allows stool to stay in the intestine longer, allowing more water to be absorbed, which makes the stool formed rather than watery when it is passed. Antidiarrheals can help with diarrhea in IBS.1
If you have IBS with constipation you probably already know how important fiber-rich foods are for your comfort. Making the American Dietetic Association's recommendation to eat 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 38 grams for men your mealtime mantra is a great place to start. But in order for a high-fiber eating plan to work its magic, you have to do three things:
Gradually increase the fiber in your diet to your target amount
Reach the higher-fiber target almost every day.
Loperamide may cause abdominal (belly) pain, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. These side effects are usually minor and do not last long. This medicine may not help people who have alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation, because it may make the constipation worse.
These medicines may be dangerous if they are used by people who have certain types of intestinal infections or who have inflammatory bowel disease. You should not use these medicines if you have a fever or if you have blood in your stool.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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