How to treat diarrhea with medication

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How to treat diarrhea with medication
Treat Diarrhea With Medication

Diarrhea is not a common discussion topic and it makes many people very uncomfortable just mentioning the term. Diarrhea is a common digestive discomfort and at times a serious ailment that can be miserable. There are many over-the-counter medications available for treatment of diarrhea providing serious relief.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Try an absorbent diarrhea medication if you have a mild case of diarrhea. These medications form bulk in the intestines by ridding them of excessive liquid. Brand name products include Kaopectate antidiarrheal liquid and caplets.

  2. 2

    Treat diarrhea with Loperamide, which is the most common over-the-counter diarrhea medication. The most popular brand name medication containing Loperamide is Imodium A-D. Loperamide functions by slowing the movement of the intestines. It decreases the frequency and urgency of stools, aids in reducing painful stomach cramps and assists in limiting the amount of mineral and water loss in your body.

  3. 3

    Try an anti-gas and anti-diarrhea combination medication such as Imodium Advanced for diarrhea with severe gas. This over-the-counter medication will reduce the painful bloating sensations and stomach cramps associated with gas and diarrhea.

  4. 4

    Treat mild to moderate cases of diarrhea with bismuth subsalicylate. The most popular brand name is Pepto-Bismol but many stores carry generic brands for less expensive prices. Not only is bismuth subsalicylate great for treating diarrhea, it also effectively treats heartburn and upset stomachs. If you have recently had the flu, chicken pox or have an allergic reaction to aspirin, you should not take bismuth subsalicylate products to treat your diarrhea symptoms.

  5. 5

    Consider using products that contain polycarbophil if you suffer from alternating cases of constipation and diarrhea. Polycarbophil is similar to absorbents, such as those found in Kaopectate antidiarreal medications, because it also removes excessive liquid from the intestines. The most popular brand name medication is FiberCon and can be found at any grocer or drug store.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to remain hydrated if you are suffering from diarrhea. Consume plenty of fluids--primarily water--to replenish lost body hydration. Avoid milk and milk products, as they can further irritate diarrhea symptoms.
  • Contact a doctor if your diarrhea lasts more than two days or you have a severe fever of 101 degrees or greater.
  • Pregnant women, children under three, those who suffer from heart disease, diabetes or AIDS can have serious risks if suffering from diarrhea. See your doctor immediately if you are suffering from diarrhea and suffer from any of the listed conditions.
  • Remember that you should not use any type of diarrhea medication for more than 48 hours. Should your diarrhea persist longer than this time period, see a doctor for further treatment.

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