Loperamide is a type of opiod drug that is used for the treatment of diarrhea. The basic action of Loperamide is to make the stool less watery and slow the movement of the gut. With these effects, patients with any type of diarrhea may get symptom relief.
Loperamide works directly on the digestive system and slows down the movement of food that is due for excretion. The action of Loperamide is not limited whether the diarrhea is caused by some bacterial or viral infection, or if the patient is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. This is because Loperamide actually stops the symptoms, and this pertains to slowing down the gut movement in order to prevent or delay frequent defecation. Loperamide does not kill the infection if there is gastroenteritis, or treat people who have some kind of inflammatory condition in their intestines. The effect of Loperamide is also localized in the gastrointestinal area. This particular drug does not affect the central nervous system in any way. Specifically, Loperamide activates the receptors that are found on the myenteric plexus which is part of the large intestines. From here, Loperamide will cause the slowing down of gut movement and stop the symptoms of diarrhea.
Aside from its use in diarrhea, Loperamide may also be prescribed by doctors for patients that underwent ileostomy. In this particular case, Loperamide will help reduce the amount of discharge which is common after the said surgery.
Loperamide is typically available in tablet form with some being made into chewable tablets. These chewables are intended for children who may have difficulty ingesting the standard tablet. This drug, though, is contraindicated in very young children, especially those who are two years old or younger. Loperamide should also not be taken for patients with very high fevers and those that have blood in their stools. For any of these cases, consultation with licensed physicians is advised.