Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): People with AIDS should stop taking loperamide and contact their doctor if they experience abdominal swelling or distention.
Constipation: If you develop constipation, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor.
Drowsiness or dizziness: Loperamide may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how loperamide affects you.
Fluids and electrolytes: The loss of fluids and electrolytes (e.g., chloride, sodium) can occur if you have diarrhea. Loperamide helps with the symptoms of diarrhea but will not correct any fluid or electrolyte problems caused by diarrhea. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you need fluid and electrolyte replacement, also referred to as oral rehydration therapy.
Improvement in diarrhea: If your diarrhea has not improved after 48 hours of treatment with loperamide, stop taking it and contact your doctor.
Liver disease: People with liver disease should be monitored carefully by their doctor while taking this medication.
Medical conditions: Loperamide should not be used by people with intestinal infections such as dysentery, which is often associated with severe diarrhea, fever, and blood in the stool, and other infections of the gut. A more serious problem of the bowel may develop if loperamide is used by some people with acute ulcerative colitis or a serious form of diarrhea associated with antibiotic use.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking loperamide, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: This medication is not recommended for use in children under the age of 12 except on the advice of a physician. Loperamide should not be given to children under 6 years of age without medical prescription and supervision. Loperamide tablets are not suitable for children under 6 years of age. Loperamide should not be used for children under 2 years of age. (See "Who should not take this medication.")