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Imodium Not Working! Is It an Alarming Sign?

Have you ever suffered from diarrhea? Do you know how hustle it could be to have a disturbed stomach? Sometimes the condition persists even after taking Imodium and we start wondering whether it is Imodium not working or if there is some other cause.

It is not a good experience at all. A disturbed stomach will disturb your whole body. You will suffer from both physical and emotional distress. Usually, in cases of diarrhea, or other issues like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Imodium is prescribed to treat the disease.

Most people get recovered soon as Imodium is an excellent and effective medication. Rare cases report that Imodium is not working. People start to assume that the medication is not effective. But in such cases, the scenario is different.

If Imodium is not working, there would probably be any other pathology that may create complications. If you face the same difficulty and Imodium is not working to bring you relief, you have just landed on the right page. Stay tuned till the end get you all ambiguities cleared.

Table of Content

What Is Imodium?

Imodium is the brand name for an over-the-counter drug. The medicine was made in 1969, but medically it was first used in 1976. The generic name of the medicine is Loperamide. The route of administration of the drug is through the mouth.


Imodium is an opioid, and it usually does not cross the blood-brain barrier if taken within the normal limits. Loperamide in 2017 was recognized in the United States as the 31st most commonly prescribed medication.

The metabolic activity of Imodium is liver extensive. It is primarily used to treat diarrhea. Diarrhea has different types and forms. Imodium (Loperamide) is a pretty effective medicine to treat several types of diarrhea.

Imodium is an effective medication to treat short bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Always consult with your doctor if you are suffering from any such disease. Your doctor will most probably prescribe you Imodium and guide you about its dosage and the time to have it.

Do not try to use it without the prescription of a doctor. The medicine has some serious side effects if not used carefully. There are a few contraindications as well that need due consideration if someone is going to use Loperamide. So, always be careful while dealing with drugs.

Side Effects

Usually, the administration of Imodium for two days or a maximum of 3 days does not cause any severe side effects. Prolong use of the disease might result in causing some side effects. The side effects caused by the medicine could be categorized as common side effects and severe side effects.

Common Side Effects of Imodium

Some of the common side effects of medicine Imodium (Loperamide) include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting

Special Side Effects of Imodium

Some severe side effects caused by Imodium that are being observed among a few cases include:

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe rash
  • Swelling of arms or face
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Pain in abdomen

The medicine may treat diarrhea, but it would fail to control the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Do not take Imodium for more than two days. If you still encounter distress due to IBS, then try to reduce its symptoms through other ways.


Imodium could not be administered to such individuals having:

  • Presence of high fever
  • Blood in stools
  • Liver failure
  • People having negative impacts of rebound constipation
  • Diarrhea which is associated with organisms that can penetrate the intestinal wall

Imodium Usage and Dosage

Imodium (Loperamide) is present in the form of a tablet or liquid in the market. According to age and weight (especially in children), the dosage or usage criteria of the medicine will be different from person to person. We need to take care that the medicine should not be used for more than two days.

Sometimes a doctor may prescribe Imodium for long-term use, but it would depend on the patient’s case and the intensity of the disease.

According to the weight and age of an individual, the recommended dosage range for Imodium (Loperamide) is:

12 Years or Older

  • No more than 8 mg per day.
  • Should use 4 mg at the start.
  • 2 mg after each loose stool that occurs later.

Younger Than 12 Years

The dosage should be primarily prescribed according to the weight of the child; if the weight is unknown, then the age of the child could be considered:

 60-95 pounds 9-11 years        2 mg in the start.
1 mg after each loose stool that occurs later.
No more than 6 mg per day.
 48-59 pounds 6-8 years2 mg in the start.
1 mg after each loose stool that occurs later.
No more than 4 mg per day.
29-47 pounds2-5 yearsThe dose limit will be decided by the doctor according to the intensity of the disease.
24-28 poundsUnder 2 yearsShould not be given Imodium.

How Long Does Imodium Last?

The time of action for Imodium to show its effect is usually within 1 hour after being administered in the body. Once you stop taking Imodium, it will take approximately the level of the medicine in the body will be reduced by half.

Once the amount is reduced to half, the medicine will no longer affect controlling your diarrhea. Usually, after 2 or 3 days, the medicine will be removed entirely from the body after excretion via kidneys.

Imodium Not Working

If the contraindications are not considered, and Imodium is administered in the body, it might adversely react. Sometimes, the counter-reaction of medicine is severe. The only thing being noticed is that Imodium does not work and does not show any satisfactory results in curing the disease.


You need to be extremely cautious about the dose limit and the usage criteria while using the medicine to avoid any distress or complications.

Imodium Not Working for IBS

Keep in mind that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is not only the type of diarrhea. The disease is accompanied by gas, bloating, and abdominal pain, along with diarrhea. After being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), your doctor will indeed prescribe you Imodium to treat the disease.

But, sometimes, the Imodium may not work due to not being capable enough to handle the complications of the disease.

The medicine may treat diarrhea, but it would fail to control the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Do not take Imodium for more than two days. If you still encounter distress due to IBS, then try to reduce its symptoms through other ways.

If nothing works out that you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Imodium Not Working for Diarrhea

Such cases have been reported that even after taking Imodium, the diarrhea is not cured 100%. People often create panic and get worried in such situations. If you encounter any such scenario that Imodium does not work for diarrhea, try to figure out its reason.

People sometimes do not follow the dose limit as prescribed by the doctor. You need to follow the dose limit carefully. If even after carefully acting according to the doctor’s prescription, the Imodium does not show any noticeable results, then you need to take note of it.

If Imodium does not work to treat your diarrhea, then don’t bother; try to control the situation on your own first. Most importantly, it would help if you stopped using Imodium after two days.

Keep in mind; never take Imodium for more than two days. If your diarrhea does not get cured after two days, you should do some other remedies to reduce the symptoms of the disease.

There are several approaches to treat diarrhea without medications. The remedies are quite effective and show quite prominent effects.

Imodium Not Working for Stomach Flu

Viral gastroenteritis, commonly called Stomach flu, is a type of diarrhea, but the disease has some other complications. Usually, viral gastroenteritis gets better on its own without any medicine. But, sometimes, due to the intensity of the disease, your doctor may prescribe you Imodium.

Imodium (Loperamide) is quite effective in treating stomach flu and shows noticeable results. But, in severe cases, it is reported that Imodium is not working.

To treat viral gastroenteritis, the doctor will then prescribe antibiotics. The doctor will also prescribe some medicines to control vomiting. Depending upon the case, a doctor sometimes also gives probiotics to the patient.

Research supports the fact that probiotics are pretty effective in treating diarrhea. Probiotics usually shorten the case of diarrhea and effectively treat viral gastroenteritis as well.

What to Do if Imodium Doesn’t Work?

Suppose you suffer from any diarrhea, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Viral Gastroenteritis, or any other one. In that case, your doctor will advise you of an over-the-counter medication known as Imodium (Loperamide). Imodium is very effective in treating several forms of diarrhea.

Imodium is given according to the patient’s weight, or if weight is unknown, then according to the patient’s age, to treat the disease.

While using Imodium, you need to keep a few things in mind; first, you need to give your good history to the doctor to cross-check all the contraindications and do not miss out on any that could create problems in the future.

Once prescribed by the doctor, you need to carefully use the medicine according to the advised dosage criteria by the doctor.

Stop using the medicine after two days. Do not use Imodium for more than two days because the disease has some side effects that could bring problems in the future.

If you are still not feeling good and you figure out that the Imodium is not working after two days, you should try to reduce the symptoms of the disease through different methods.

There are a number of remedies that may help you out in reducing the symptom of your disease. Suppose the remedies work out; then you don’t need to worry anymore. But, in case if you are still not feeling well, you should consult with your doctor and share the whole scenario with the doctor.

Your doctor will carry out some tests to figure out the complications of your case. Depending upon the reports of the tests, the doctor will recommend other medicines if needed to treat your disease and cure it completely.

How to Stop Diarrhea When Imodium Doesn’t Work?

If Imodium does not work to treat your diarrhea, then don’t bother; try to control the situation on your own first. Most importantly, it would help if you stopped using Imodium after two days.


After two days, if your diarrhea is still not cured entirely, then try to adopt the following practices to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea up to the maximum possible extent.

  • Keep hydrated throughout the day. Drink as much water as you can.
  • Drink plenty of water and also try to make broth and dilute pulp-free juices.
  • Try to avoid eating fatty foods that are fried or greasy.
  • Prefer eating foods like white bread, applesauce, fish, potatoes, white rice, etc.
  • Be careful and do not use or cut down the intake of such foods or drinks containing caffeine.
  • If you have stomach cramps, try to avoid using food items that may cause gas or bloating.
  • Do not take beans, Brussels, cabbage, carbonated beverages, beer, etc.


All those who were anxious about why Imodium is not working? Hopefully, all of your ambiguities regarding Imodium and its working have got cleared now. All you should do is always follow your doctor’s prescription carefully.

If, due to any reason, you still feel discomfort even after proper medications, then try to act smarter and control the factors that could help to reduce the symptoms of the disease. If the disease gets cured of the remedies, that would be great, but if still nothing works out, consult with your doctor.

Your doctor will analyze your case and will guide you accordingly. You should be quick and responsive in every situation because that’s the only approach towards complete recovery and satisfactory results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should it take for Imodium to work?

Action time of Imodium is usually one hour after being administered in the body. Imodium is an effective medication to treat diarrhea. Most people take it for a couple of days and get great results. Sometimes, there may be a need to take medicine for more than two days, depending upon the person’s health profile.

What not to take with Imodium?

There are several medicines that one should not take with Imodium. Many medicines should be avoided if you have taken Imodium because the medicine may react with Imodium and adversely affect the body.

The medicines that are not to be taken with Imodium are namely; amiodarone, alcohol, abiraterone, anti-psychotics, antifungals, barbiturates, etc.

Why do I still have diarrhea after taking Imodium?

If after 48 hours you are still suffering from diarrhea despite taking Imodium, you should seek a doctor. If the Imodium is not adequate to cure diarrhea even after two days, then there might be any other underlying complication present.

Your doctor would carry out some tests, and according to the test reports, your doctor will decide on other best-suited medications for you.

Is it safe to take 1 Imodium daily?

Never take any medicine more than the amount recommended by your doctor. Taking one extra dose of Imodium may not harm you. Taking higher doses like 1 Imodium daily might adversely affect your health.

Usually, prolonged use of medicine results in serious heart problems. The fourth most symptom that is visible in such cases is an irregular or fast heartbeat.

Can you take Imodium every day for IBS?

Imodium is a highly effective medication to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Most doctors recommend that 2 to 4 mg of Imodium should be taken up to four times a day to treat diarrhea-predominant IBS. Usually, after two days of proper medication, there is a noticeable improvement in the patient’s health.

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