Imodium (loperamide hydrochloride) is an anti-diarrheal drug. You should also be able to buy loperamide in a cheaper generic form from your pharmacy. Imodium works by reducing the muscular contractions of the intestine, which reduces the speed at which waste moves through the gut. This in turn lets the body absorb more water and electrolytes from the gut contents back into the body, which means firmer and less frequent bowel movements.
Imodium side effects
The most common side effects of Imodium are constipation and incomplete evacuation.
There are two main varieties of Imodium. Imodium AD stops basic diarrhea symptoms. Imodium Advanced (or Imodium Plus) treats diarrhea plus bloating, pressure pain and cramps. Imodium is available in caplet, chewable tablet and liquid form.
REVIEWS OF IMODIUM
Review by Sue
I feel like I have found my people. I am so relieved to find this site. I've had IBS-D for 15 years. It started when I was 21 on a very sad day in college when I didn't make it to the bathroom in time. The only reason I've been able to live a normal life since then is because of Imodium. I did build up an immunity to it and had to keep taking more for it to work. By the time I was in grad school I was taking four to six most days. Then when I was pregnant I backed off and that kind of reset my system so that two to three worked well.
The most exciting thing I've discovered (since Imodium) is iron supplements! Iron has a constipating effect on most people but for me it just makes me a normal person! I take a multi-vitamin with 100% of the daily recommended allowance of iron and now I only need two Imodium about twice a week!
I just wanted to share this in hopes of helping other people. I've seen gastroenterologists, ob/gyns, naturopaths, dietitians, acupuncturists, massage therapists, chinese herbalists, and iron supplements and Imodium are the only things that have worked. I'm so glad you're all out there!
Review by Matthew
My parents have told me that I always had troubles with using the bathroom, and I eventually came to realize that it has to do with anxiety. I'm only 24 but over the past month I've learned a lot of things about my IBS. I can go up to 10 times a day, though it's never diarrhea as we would think of it, just loosely-formed stool. I always battle with the urge and the incomplete evacuation, and my digestion is so rapid that my bowels are just constantly working. It's exhausting and I find myself never outside for long.
I learned about Imodium and how it could slow down the process. I took only half a pill at first because a lot of people complained it was too strong, but it really did nothing until I took three. I am always able to go the next day. I was finally able to be out for longer periods of time and not have to worry about where the bathroom is.
The amount I take depends on what I'm planning on doing, and I always take it after I have gone a significant amount. It works for me and I'm never constipated. Three to four tablets is usually what it takes to stop and feel comfortable. With that being said, anxiety is such a powerful thing that there are times when I still cramp like I might have to go - but I can't.
I am currently not in my hometown but will be returning soon and when I do I will ask about something to treat my anxiety as well. Whenever I go out to a party or some event, my stomach cramps up with that nervous feeling and that always starts the bowels and I need that to be under control most of all. But for the moment Imodium is doing its job, and the only side effect I have is occasional thirst.
Review by Sonia
I have been reading the stories on this page and I am so glad that so many people have found out about Imodium. I was diagnosed with IBS 14 years ago and no-one, not even the doctors, seemed to have any advice on how to feel better. I did some research on my own and tried using Metamucil fiber, which actually worked quite well but still left me with those bad days as I call them. So I randomly started using Imodium on my bad days so I could still have a life.
I notice that if I use Imodium in conjunction with the fiber I don't end up with the rebound constipation that can happen with the Imodium alone. Things will just slow down and then return to moving along normally instead of being at extremes. I notice a lot of people saying they seem to need more Imodium to get the same results these days and feel they may be becoming immune.
Honestly, I have found the same thing in the last two years and I have started wondering whether they are now using less of the medication since they changed the chewables, so we need a higher dose to get the same results? I don't believe I am becoming immune as I am only using maybe two to four pills a month as I always have.
Anyway, hang in there everyone. The upside to this is that it's not life threatening, although it's really heartbreaking in how it can affect our lives. Be brave...take your Imodium and go out!
Review by Helene
In 1995 I was told I had IBS, and I then moved countries. After having colonoscopies and endoscopies and being told that it was all in my head (even the migraines), being told to meditate instead was the last straw. I now take Imodium. We go into large game reserves, where the toilets are one or two hours apart, and I have been so desperate that I've told my husband to stop right now, as I didn't care if there were lions or snakes behind that little bush! So on these trips I do now tend to double up on the morning dosage of Imodium.
Review by Carole
In August of 1965, when I was 25 (I'm now almost 72), I took a trip to Israel and Europe. When I was on a tour bus in Rome I had to ask the driver to stop the bus so I could use a bathroom! After trying to communicate in English that I had an emergency and had to use a toilet, I was led to an area that had a hole in the ground! I had to squat and defecate...how embarrassing. I had a very loose bowel movement. The tour continued, but I didn't dare take any more tours. I stayed in my hotel room. I remember taking paregoric. I think I'm the only one who has had IBS for 45-plus years.
I went to many gastroenterologists over many years. I also went to a prominent doctor who had a radio talk show in New York City. He had me send stool samples to a lab in Georgia. The diagnosis came back that I had several parasites! I bought several medications that he offered, but when the cost was almost $4,000 that I paid out of pocket, I stopped taking them, and stopped seeing the doctor.
A pharmacist told me to take Imodium. I was taking the liquid version, but I didn't like the taste. Now I'm taking the tablets in generic form, two to four pills if needed when going out. I do get relief.
I also had two colonoscopies, with nothing found, and several prescription medications. I am not gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant. I can't figure out what foods trigger the diarrhea that can sometimes have me running to the toilet. There have been some accidents, but luckily when I've been at home.
I'm just hoping that when I get into my 80s and 90s I won't be wearing diapers...this seems to be the most tragic possible outcome of irritable bowel syndrome. I can't imagine sitting until someone changes me! Hopefully there will be a cure.
Review by Monica
I have very recently been diagnosed with IBS-D, although once diagnosed I realized I have had it for probably three years. I was relieved to know what was wrong, or at least happy to have a name for it, but at the same time very angry knowing I would be dealing with this for the rest of my life. For years, my doctor would brush me off and tell me that the issues I was having were not really a problem. When I told her that certain foods felt almost poisonous to me, all she would say was don't eat them!
I have been using Imodium for all these years and would never dare leave the house without it. Even still, I know where every single bathroom is everywhere I go. I have still had an embarrassing episode or two, but Imodium has definitely saved me. I have it stashed everywhere - house, purse, office, car, you name it. I am new to the labeled IBS world. I'm about to embark on a gluten-free diet to see if that helps too.
Review by Debbi
Imodium has been a lifesaver for me as well. I was diagnosed with IBS in 1985. I use it in advance of any 'threats' for me, like an office meeting or training session, etc where I cannot be up and down to the bathroom as often. I also limit my food intake in advance. The only downside is that it does make me sleepy, but I have issues with that for lots of meds like allergy and cold meds, even if they say 'non-drowsy formula'.
But I just cannot be without Imodium. Traveling for hours in a car is now possible for me. I use the generic because it is cheaper and I don't notice any difference in the way it helps me, but try the non-generic first as a base guideline.
Review by Lisa
I'm 41 and I have just found this site, it's wonderful. I thought I was the only one out there so it's good to know that's not true. So I just took Imodium for the first time and it helped, but I was tired and dizzy for a little bit. Has anyone felt like that?
Review by Christina
I'm 22 years old. I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 16. It was horrible. Every time I went out I needed to go to the bathroom and every time I used the bathroom it would make me feel sick. It got to the point where I totally stopped going anywhere and I lost a lot of friends because I never wanted to do anything.
Then I found Imodium...I have been taking it since I was 18 and I'm in love. I don't need it every day, but when I do need it, all I have to do is take one and it lasts for a good two or three days. Doctors tried giving me other medications but everything made it worse. Imodium is the one thing I can take that works - now it's hard to keep me in the house!
It also works great for me because I have a one-year old daughter and it's nice to not have to sit her in her crib or pack and play 10 times a day so I can go to the bathroom. I'm happy now that I've got Imodium. I can do things and not worry. It's also comforting to know I'm not the only one out there who suffers from this.
Review by Sue
I have been taking Imodium for at least 10 years after suffering for many years. Like all IBS sufferers, the first thing I do when I leave the house is check out the location of the restrooms - I think I know where all of them are in my area; however, I no longer have to do that because of Imodium AD Advanced.
My diagnosing doctor put me on Imodium because it virtually has no side effects and really works very differently from other similar meds. I have had to take as many as three or four a day. I am not afraid of it, so I have no problem taking whatever it takes to get my intestinal tract under control.
The only time I have a problem now is when I eat Tex-Mex - which I love - and from time to time, I don't really know what triggers an episode. When I do have one of these rare attacks I just double up on the Imodium. One thing I have learned is that if I do take too much, I just postpone my next dose until I empty and then take it. With IBS-D, we really do not have to worry. After all, if we are not taking meds, we are pretty much homebound or pad- or diaper-bound. I actually get sick enough to have to stay in bed except when I am working on my relationship with porcelain John.
Rest assured, there is no way that I would ever go back to the IBS-D lifestyle. I have enjoyed my freedom too long now. I am confident that the same kind of freedom awaits those who are willing to work with the dosage. Imodium Advanced takes care of the gas and bloating and comes in a bottle. I get better results with it than with three regular little blue Imodiums or chewables. Advanced is white and larger (I suppose because of the added ingredients for the gas etc).
Review by Melany
I'm so happy and I wish I had found this site a long time ago. I also suffer from IBS-D and I think maybe it's a curse, or it's from the bad eating habits I had as a teenager that finally caught up with me, especially drinking soda by the gallon weekly. I think this made my symptoms horrid but I didn't find that out until age 38, so I have been suffering from IBS-D for about 15 years now and I never knew what I had, I would just find myself getting depressed a lot and asking God why me?
One day I went to a doctor, one of many, and he told me that I had IBS-D and to just take Imodium and live my life, so I started crying because I felt he was being mean to me and didn't want to take the time to see what was really wrong. Well, that was years ago, but now I see that he was absolutely right, and it just was hard for me to imagine that this is a 'condition' and not a disease, because I lost count of the times I had to stay home on the toilet when I was supposed to actually be somewhere fun - like my wedding, which I had to postpone three times because if I get anxious, nervous, scared or upset I better have a toilet attached to my butt.
I am so happy to see that other folks do suffer from this and it's not a curse. I found that Imodium works better with food. I never knew why but I figured that because it slows digestion down it needs something to actually slow down (the food). Even though I have had these symptoms for a very long time I still find myself pretty happy about life. I know how horrible it can be to wear happy pants (diapers) when I'm only 38 but hey, if I need to go somewhere and I'm a little nervous about an accident then I'm wearing them.
I see a lot of people on here are embarrassed to go to the bathroom because of what people will hear and smell - well who cares, they aren't us and they aren't suffering like we are so I say poop away, and if they don't like the smell they can leave or you can flush the toilet while pooping if that would make you feel better, but I say just go to the bathroom and who cares what other people think, they'll get over it! I hope everyone feels better and yeah a cure would be nice.
Review by Ken
I have been suffering from what I believe to be IBS-D for the past 10 years. My IBS is worst in the morning when I wake up and I usually have to use the restroom anywhere from three to five times before I even eat anything. As you can imagine this is very frustrating and severely restricts my lifestyle. After trying everything including changing my diet, meditation, yoga, medicines and other treatments, nothing really worked. So my doctor suggested Imodium to constipate me so I don't have to use the bathroom so much every day. I would take three tablets a day - one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
So I started talking Imodium seven months ago and it started working within a few days. I can honestly say that this was the first time in nearly 10 years that I could live normally. My symptoms were not 100% gone, but I could at least move around and not have to find the toilet all the time. However, after a few months, I believe that it started to lose its effect. I know for sure that the Imodium Advanced did not work, but the Imodium regular did (with only loperamide). In any case, I stopped using the Imodium because its results were on and off.
So my experience says that the Imodium helped for a while and then kind of did not after a while. Those normal months were great, but now I am suffering again.
Review by Anne
I first started to realize I had IBS-D when I was in high school, particularly sometime in grade nine, which as you can probably guess isn't the greatest time to discover this as kids (especially teenagers) can be really cruel if you have to go in the school washrooms.
I went to my doctor and she diagnosed me with IBS-D. She gave me Buscopan and I found that that really did nothing for me so I used up my prescription of it but that was it. I often had to leave school almost on a weekly basis. In one particular class I found I always had the urge to go and I had to leave and refused to go at school because of how the kids can tease, so I ended up taking the city bus home on a weekly basis because it was too unbearable at school. I remember often being stuck on a bus for the half-hour bus ride home and dying with stomach cramps and sweating and feeling sick to my stomach, it was agonizing.
After a while I ended up taking the Imodium that was in my parents' medication cabinet for relief. I noticed that this really helped so I talked to my parents about it and they started purchasing some for me to help me. Soon after I started taking it on a daily basis, absolutely needing to take it before I went to school so I didn't have to end up leaving class. I would often having to buy some at the corner store before I left for school as well.
I am now 25 and have had this problem for 11 years. I still take Imodium to help me, but not on a daily basis as I found I can almost control when a spasm occurs. I always carry it in my purse. If I am without it then I need to head to a drugstore to make sure I have six or more pills in my purse. Imodium, even the generic, can be quite pricey for someone without a lot of money to be spending all the time but the relief it gives is worth the price.
Before I go out anywhere (other than work) I take two or more pills, just to prevent something from happening, especially if I am going out to dinner. I do notice though that the amount of time the pills take to work has increased because I have been taking it for 11 years, and it doesn't have quite the same effect - an attack might happen a few hours after I've taken the pills but they work better than having nothing!
Otherwise at work I have to time my bathroom trips to when I know no-one is in the bathroom, as well as sneak some spray in to take away the odor. It is horrible that you have to plan out your trips to the bathroom more than once daily just to make sure no one hears you.
I am suffering less now than I was when I was younger, but this is an extremely unpleasant and embarrassing disorder to have. To this day I am too embarrassed to tell anyone about this. The only people who know are my family and my doctor. No-one quite understands how it is and like it has been said before people just think it's all in your head. Stress is a trigger for me, so relaxation is huge in helping, but also hard to do. Imodium (generic or whatever) is a person with IBS-D's best friend!
Review by Amy
I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 13. I started taking Imodium every day to help with the diarrhea. Of course at that age it was very embarrassing. Every morning I woke up and took it as soon as I got up. Eventually, it got to the point where if I did not have it on my nightstand when I woke up within just a few minutes of lying there I was having to run to the bathroom and then I would be sick all day. So I started taking it as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning.
Eventually this became such a problem. I asked my doctor about it and she told me that it is very addictive. She told me that we would have to wean me off it. I had no idea that Imodium could be addictive, but it definitely was! It was very hard for a few weeks, but then I got so much better. Now I don't take anything. I just try to eat healthily. Occasionally I have bad times so I might pop a couple Imodium, but only two in one day.
Review by Michelle
I have had IBS since I was 15 and I am now 31. I was diagnosed by the doctor three years ago. I lived on Pepto for many years until it stopped working. I finally gave in and went to the doctor. My doctor gave me some meds and they really didn't work.
I have been taking Imodium for about three years now. I take it only when I need it, usually once every month. I deal with having to go to the bathroom every morning only because I am usually at work where we have private bathrooms. I also have moved close to town, about five minutes away. I find this helps mentally. I do not freak out and wonder where a bathroom is, which causes more bowel movements than needed.
I have learned over the years that milk, broccoli, eggnog, soda and other select items make it worse, but only sometimes. I find that my problem foods are not always problem foods. This is odd to me. Thank god that I learned how to manage my IBS. I have found that taking my prescribed pills with my Imodium helps when just the Imodium does not work.
Everyone out there with this...we need to educate others. Why should we feel ashamed of something we cannot control? I cringe at the thought of going into a Wal-Mart when my stomach gets sick. It's not nice when everyone hears everything and people walk out saying how gross it smells in the bathroom. I have found that heat also affects my IBS. If it is really hot my stomach turns and this is the worst for me.
Suggestions: Sam's Club carries bottles of Imodium Advanced. Each bottle contains 30 pills and it comes with two bottles. So that is 60 pills for approximately $12. Good luck! And I hope one day a cure is found for this horrible disease.
Review by Wendy
I nearly began to cry when I read all the reviews here. I've suffered in exactly the same ways as all these poor people. I've been through the testing and all the doctor could tell me was that I was not alone. He later suggested trying Imodium once a day but I was afraid I'd never be able to go again with all the constipation also associated with IBS. So I continued to use probiotics which after several months lost effectiveness, and my constant agonizing fear of having an accident returned.
I spoke with my very dear pharmacist and he suggested that I could even take Imodium once at night as well as in the morning. I've been taking it once in the morning for several months now with life-changing results. I cannot believed I've lived in such misery for so long. I occasionally take the one at night as well when I have been indulging in some triggers. Most of us with IBS know our trigger foods and beverages and the price we pay for them. My triggers are caffeine, alcohol and certain foods. It is also important to maintain a good diet with good amounts of fiber, fruits and vegetables to keep things loose. I'm so glad to see the relief people are finding with this drug. It's just too bad more doctors aren't willing to share this information with patients. Good luck to all!
Review by BD
I had my first bout of the worst diarrhea ever when I was seven months pregnant with my middle daughter. The pain and cramps were so bad I thought I was in labor! My husband was on the phone leaving a message with my OB's answering service when I got the urge to go and couldn't control it. I made it to the bathroom crawling on my hands and knees and the diarrhea was so bad I passed out, all the while in a cold sweat and thinking I was going to die or lose the baby, or God knows what else! Not to mention the odor!
My doctor gave me Lomotil in his office later that day and told me never to be without it. So for years I used it. Then along came Imodium over the counter. I tried it and it works! The Advanced Imodium is even better because it takes care of the gas, too. I am never without the generic - it's in my purse, all over the house and the car. I can take one in the morning and it works great. The daughter is now 35 years old, so that's how long this has been going on. I give Imodium five great big stars!
Review by Mike
I have had IBS problems most of my life, so after 49 years I have something to write about. I have had to limit the places I go or how far away I am from a bathroom every time I go somewhere. As I got older it became even harder to manage on a daily basis and started to affect my ability to work, visit friends or family. I got fed-up with the daily multiple trips to the bathroom and forcing myself not to eat the day before going somewhere other than home.
I made an appointment with my general physician and discussed the options I had. He wanted me to see a gastroenterologist, which I did, only to have him tell me to take one Imodium tablet daily for a short-term solution, and order more tests. I was furious that I had paid $300 for this information and didn't bother going back to the specialist.
I made another appointment with my general physician. I learned that anti-depressants are supposed to help with IBS so we talked about this and I gave them a try, but they were no help and I had other problems such as side effects from these meds.
On my own I decided to try the Imodium once a day. I choose the generic form since the cost is much lower. I have been taking one tablet a day for a month now and I have not had this type of relief ever. I am very happy with the results and I have been able to go places when I choose and not worry about having a problem with IBS.
I do have to watch my diet, as I learned that even though the therapy I am using is working my diet habits also play a big role. I got a little too relaxed and ate some foods that I knew would give me problems but even then the problems were minimal compared to before I started taking the Imodium.
I had three doctor visits and could have saved myself about $500 not to mention what I have spent on previous doctor visits and medications both prescription and over-the-counter. Thank you for this website, it has been a blessing to me and others.
Review by Brian
I have been taking Imodium on a daily basis for a week or so with good results. I tried Lomotil for a few months, and after a while it seemed to me to be a dangerous drug. It's an opiate. It made me lethargic, and also I almost blacked out one afternoon. That was enough for me. I also tried an anti-depressant, and again I felt it took away from my physical fitness.
Review by Cheryl
I have had IBS for 36 years; I am now 59. I am also an avid traveler, and I have been lucky enough to do OK for most of my travels, with the help of Imodium. I had Bentyl prescribed by my gastroenterologist several years ago; it didn't help a whole lot. Recently, I had the inspiration to try a new regimen which seems to be working well, fingers crossed! I take acidophilus and Bentyl morning and afternoon and Imodium in the morning and and occasionally the afternoon too.
For me, this is a life-changing event. I have yet to have an attack since I started this. I hate to be taking pills morning and night, but I am otherwise very healthy. And it is so worth it not to feel anxiety when I travel or am at work.
I was concerned about daily Imodium. I have taken as many as eight Imodiums, without ill effect, in an effort to stave off an attack (usually not very successful). And I have had occasional symptoms of pyloric stenosis, which I have learned to anticipate and deal with. But it is so worth it. Thank goodness for the medication!
Review by Lynn
Unlike most of the other sufferer here I have the additional problem of fecal incontinence, caused by an injury during childbirth. I've had surgery to repair this injury, but the surgery was unsuccessful. As a result I have, in addition to IBS which I've had for over 20 years, an actual physical inability to control the sphincter muscles which contribute to continence.
My doctor said that Imodium not only slows down bowel motility, allowing stool time to bulk up, but it also has a tightening effect on the rectal muscles. He recommended that I take one every morning in addition to taking a fiber supplement to bulk up my stools more. (I find that I must take Heather's Tummy Care acacia fiber because other fibers cause more gas, which is a real problem for me!)
Before I started taking the Imodium, going out to shop or travel or even taking my kids to school was a huge ordeal for me. I would have to go many times a day, and with the incontinence problem, I'd often not get there in time. After starting the Imodium (and I take the generic, by the way) my life was in control again. I can't imagine not having it. It allows me to think I'm normal again.
The only issue I have with it is that it often causes severe intestinal cramps and tummy pains, and actually induces constipation that can last for days, even if I take only one capsule every other day or so. I've learned that I must drink lots of water with this drug, and be faithful to my fiber supplements. In echo of almost every other poster here, I hope I never develop a tolerance to, or am unable to get, Imodium.
Review by Donna
I am amazed by the number of people in the world who are just like me! I am 51 and I have had IBS since I was 30-something. I was a travel agent for 20 years and traveled the world before I started to teach elementary children. Well, I had my colonoscopy this year and lo and behold had no cancer. It is called IBS and I have had it long before the name for it.
Imodium is my God when I travel. Thank you so much since Pepto just did not work any more. People who do not have IBS have no idea how much it can change your life. I almost did not become a teacher because of it! Please find a cure! It will make a difference in so many lives!
Review by Susan
I was diagnosed with IBS-D two years ago. I'm 25 and I take Imodium every day. I've tried mebeverine and that did work, but only for a few days and then I went back to having diarrhea. I stopped eating loads of foods I used to love before which I think helped a little bit. I tried Colpermin tablets and they didn't seem to do anything. I'm now taking amitriptyline which is an anti-depressant that is supposed to treat people with IBS as well. I've only been taking it for a month so I'm not sure if it's helping.
I take usually four Imodium a day. Sometimes when I know I'm not doing a lot I take two, and when I know I am stressed I need to take about six, but usually it's four a day. It makes me feel like a normal person, I don't go to the toilet all day or if I can't go in the morning then I don't go until late afternoon, which is good because I hate going to the toilet at work.
I'm pretty anxious about going to the toilet when people are around and everyone can hear everything. So I take four Imodium and I'm OK for a day. I go to the toilet every day even if I take Imodium, but my stool becomes very hard when I take a lot of Imodium. I wish I never got IBS but I suppose we have to learn how to live with it. I don't know when someone is going to find a cure but I hope it's going to be very very very soon!
Review by Wendy
I am 54 and I was diagnosed with IBS-D about 15 years ago. I find it has changed my life. I am afraid to go anywhere at all if I do not know there is a bathroom close by. Just the idea of going for a walk scares me. I stay away from dairy, coffee and beef because they seem to intensify my symptoms.
I use Imodium (usually two tabs) plus Buscopan (10mg) approximately three or four times a week, and I can't function without it. If I have a planned outing I am usually fine and I start taking the pills the day before, but it is the unplanned outings that are terrible. It seems to take hours for the Imodium to work for me.
I am scared that I will get immune to it and that is why I try to limit my intake to three or four times a week. When I was diagnosed with IBS (I had this for years before I was diagnosed) the doctor said everyone was different and that I was to do whatever worked for me, and if Imodium worked I was to use it.
I have had accidents which are very embarrassing and I have even worn Depends at times when I know a washroom is not available. This disease rules my life and I am tired of it and I hope some day a cure will be found.
Review by Jodi
I'm relived to see so many people like me. I've been dealing with IBS since I was 13, and I'm 29 now. At first I was totally misdiagnosed, I was told I had a nervous stomach and needed to learn how to make myself relax, and to try making myself burp to relieve the gas. Finally after a long and winding road to the age of 21, I was finally officially diagnosed with IBS.
But I learned the wonders of Imodium around age 14. My mom would get it to help control my diarrhea. I learned taking one a day helped control all my symptoms and allowed me to go to school without the worries. Now, well I believe I would not be able to function normally in a work environment without Imodium. I've tried numerous prescriptions, but none relieved the IBS, but now I've settled into two pills of Imodium in the morning, and one or two at night. I have to up it by a pill or two on really bad days. But knock on wood, 15 years later, I really haven't built up a tolerance to it. This product is truly a wonder drug.
Review by Lori
I'm 45 and I have had IBS-D for over 20 years. I had all the tests, and I was on drugs that gave me stomach cramps. The only thing that worked was Imodium. I have flare-ups one or two days a week, and then I'm up to four pills a day. They last for about two days. My hope and prayer is that I don't get resistant to Imodium or I'm in trouble. I'm so shocked over the amount of people who are like me. I suffered in secret thinking I was a freak. My husband understands and my kids but outsiders think I love the decor or hardware of public restrooms. Prayers go out to all like me.
Review by Beverley
I was diagnosed with IBS after having my gallbladder removed some 25 years ago or more, I have lost count now. I had constant visits to the loo sometimes only just making it there in time, so my going out became almost nil. Most of my family said 'It's all in your mind' and that I was using it as an excuse not to go places which hurt me and made me even more upset.
I eventually visited my GP who put me on Questran and Lomotil. This worked for a period of time, until my body got used to it and my visits to the loo got worse than ever. Back to the GP I went, and he sent me to the hospital for a never-ending barrage of tests because now they thought I might have celiac disease like my eldest daughter. After undergoing three endoscopies and different diets, eg: gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, they finally said it was IBS and I just had to live with it. And live with it I tried and cried and some days felt like I had died or was about to.
After enduring the indignities of what comes along with IBS for some months I went to my GP again because now it was affecting my work. I had been moved from working by my home to 10 miles away and the job had also altered and we were traveling a lot more, so my GP suggested Imodium. Oh my God, it changed my life. I still had to be careful and I still had my eyes peeled for toilets but I felt liberated.
But then my employers said I had got to start going on day trips with some of the residents we supported, my world fell apart again as I love my job as a sheltered housing officer. I was told that there were other people in the department with IBS and that they manage.
So although Imodium has given me a nearly back-to-normal life, I am afraid that I still won't go on trips, or holidays with my family, or anywhere in fact that takes me out of my comfort zone. It is a vicious circle I'm afraid, but it would 100 times worse without Imodium.
Review by Lynn
Imodium (taken in conjunction with four Bentyl per day) gave me the ability to live my life. When I had to do anything that was out of my ordinary routine, I would take eight Imodium first thing in the morning. Actually, the Imodium worked better than the Bentyl.
This past fall, my gastroenterologist told me that I should not be taking so many Imodium. And since the Bentyl wasn't doing what it should, he prescribed Lotronex 1mg per day. I have been taking it for three months, and it is a wonder drug for me. The cost is outrageous though. With no prescription coverage and enough income to prohibit me from qualifying for any financial help with the cost, I find it to be really expensive. But my husband and I have decided that we will pay for it out-of-pocket since it works so well.
I will say, though, that if the time comes that I can no longer afford the Lotronex, I will go right back to the Imodium...the only other thing that has ever worked.
Review by Renee
I've had IBS-D since college, and I've been taking Imodium for about 10 years. My job involves overseas travel and I no longer want to travel for fear of having an IBS attack. I must now take six or seven Imodium tablets on days when I have a planned outing. I will have a bowel movement usually within 24 hours. It seems like the effect is wearing off, so I try to use them only when I need to.
Years ago when I was pregnant I was not able to take Imodium, and therefore I was able to clean my body out and get re-adjusted. Pregnancy also caused me to get a little bunged up, so it was great for me!
IBS is pretty difficult and embarrassing to live with, but I guess that's life - and it could be worse. I always carry Imodium with me and I always must know where the nearest washroom is or else I get panicky. Thank you, Imodium, for giving me some peace of mind!
Review by Claudia
I developed IBS-D after having my son by C-section three years ago. The only things that have helped have been avoiding sugar/gluten/starch and taking liquid Imodium. I like the liquid because it works right away and you can adjust the dose to just the precise amount you need to work for that day and not be constipated for days and days after, as I sometimes was with the pills.
It's a very flexible and milder way to take the medication and it works when nothing else will. I highly recommend the liquid Imodium - especially to people who have been stopped up for days by the pills and are now afraid of the product. It honestly works miracles - although it might not taste that great. But that's a minor consideration to be able to live your life.
Review by Kate
I've just started to have issues with IBS-D in the last six months to a year. I'm a 21 year-old college girl and it's been hell. Thank God that my Dad (who also has IBS), my mom, my boyfriend and my roommates have been so supportive.
So far the only thing I've found that has allowed me to live my life in the last month is Imodium chewables. I can't swallow pills so the chewable is great. It even has a somewhat pleasant mint taste compared to other chewable meds I've taken. I make sure I never use more than four a day and I've been D-free for about two weeks now.
I was apprehensive about taking that much every day, but I'm glad I do. I never leave home without it. I try to watch what I eat and take fiber, but Imodium definitely wins in my book. The only problem I've had so far is that I'm thirsty a lot, but I'd rather be thirsty than be trapped in a bathroom instead of living my 21 year-old life! Thanks Imodium!
Review by Julie
I have been taking Imodium for 10 years now and like many of you this is the only product that allows me to live a normal life. But there is a but and a big one.
Yes, Imodium is addictive for me, believe it or not. It took me a few years to figure this out, but I have the same symptoms every time I try to go off this product. At first I start to sneeze, and I get post-nasal drip so bad it gags me, especially at night. Then come the aches and pains. My teeth ache, my back and hips ache along with my knees and I become very depressed. The usual cold symptoms follow this and I would swear I had a terrible cold.
Now by the third day come the heebie-jeebies. This is the worst. I can't sleep at night, I have to keep moving my legs and my arms, so I walk all night long. I then get uncontrollable diarrhea, so after two weeks I always give in and start back on the Imodium, just so I can have a semi-normal life again. All of the symptoms stop after a day of going back on the Imodium. I have never made it past two weeks yet.
What I find more disturbing is that on weekends when we go out I take more Imodium, so by Monday when I decrease it, I am already having signs of depression. For example I have bad thoughts like no-one likes me, nothing is going to work out, I just can't cope with things, those kind of thoughts. It doesn't like it when I go up and down with this medication. It seems to have a life of its own.
The worst thing that I notice now is when I take more than six tablets a day, I have trouble with my arms going to sleep on me at night, so I have to sit up on those days with my arms at my sides to stop it. When I decrease it down to four tablets it stops. The only way to stop this product is gradually decreasing the dose over a long period of time. I have yet to do this, because my husband or friend will want to go out to eat or go to a show. I have to take it to be normal. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. So that is why I give this product one star.
Review by Parker
I'm not sure what I would do without Imodium. I've tried probiotics, fiber, diet change, yogurt, and nothing controls my symptoms as well as Imodium. I started having IBS-D symptoms about six years ago while I was attending college (I'm now 25). I had constant nausea and chronic diarrhea, and of course, like many of you, my doctor didn't know what to do. Luckily, the constant nausea went away after two years, and the constant feeling of needing to relieve myself has lessened too, but I'm still plagued with chronic diarrhea that is accompanied with cramps and the panic attacks.
Imodium has been the only thing that has helped in that past six years. It helps more so than ever now that my nausea is gone. However, I used to take the Imodium AD tablets, which help with gas, but I found that taking anything over the recommended dose would make me nauseous to the point of vomiting. Now, I take the regular capsules (don't pay full price for the Imodium brand - generic brands works just as well!) and I no longer have the nausea.
I typically take four to six pills a day (with my doctors' approval). If I know I have nowhere to be other than work, four pills seems to keep my stools solid without backing me up to the point of constipation. If I know my band will be playing a show that day, or I'll be taking a long car ride at some point, six pills do the job. If it's a bad day, or I'm feeling really stressed, I'll take two more later in the day. Some people may become overly constipated from taking this many, but I'm always able to pass a stool within 24 hours, although I can suffer a tiny bit of constipation during that time.
To put things in perspective, I'm a musician with a day job, and I thought for sure IBS would stop my music career. Can you imagine having your IBS-D pop up while on stage in a crowded LA club? That's pretty much the worst situation I could imagine being in while having IBS-D, but Imodium has held strong for me. Over time, it's helped me to get my confidence back and remind me that I can manage my symptoms. If my music career wasn't so promising, and I didn't love performing so much, I would have quit for the sake of my health, but I'm so glad I didn't and that I found other ways to cope.
I think the next step is finding some way of dealing with the mental aspects of IBS. Everyone here understands that IBS can mess with you emotionally. I didn't even know I was capable of being depressed until I had IBS for a few years (I refuse to take anti-depressants though). Even the most positive and happy people are affected emotionally from IBS. I'm going to try meditation and possibly the self-hypnosis CDs recommended on this website. If I find success with these techniques, I will post another comment.
Thank you Sophie for this website! Everyone suffering from IBS, stay positive, and stay diligent! Everyone has their own solutions for their own symptoms...find yours!
Review by Hannah
I did not know there were so many people like me! Let me tell you it's the biggest comfort because living like this is horrible and can get you down so often. Thank goodness for Imodium, because without it life would be a lot harder.
I take a couple of Imodium before I go to work and then I am right for the rest of the day, and yes I have peace of mind that I won't be rushing to the toilet! I have also figured out though that when off gluten and dairy I am a lot less symptomatic. All I can say is thank goodness for Imodium. Good luck!
Review by Amelia
So many of you sound like me. I'm 47, and I've had IBS since I was 18 or so, but it wasn't diagnosed until I was 20. I took Bentyl for a few years but it was expensive and made me so tired. I discovered Imodium about 10 years ago and it's been one of the biggest lifesavers of my life. I literally couldn't go anywhere before that.
If I'm planning on going somewhere (Wal-Mart, anywhere) I take three of them. I've done this for the entire 10 years and they've not become any less effective. Sometimes I don't take any at all for days at a time and I'm fine. I get the generics on Ebay, 400 pills for $13 total is a lot cheaper than the generics at Wal-Mart.
My husband and son tease me about my 'butt pills' but they've been known to come begging for some at times, too! I don't know what I'd do without them. They enabled me to get a job, something I'd have never done without them. I don't think I'll build up a tolerance to them, I haven't in 10 years and I do go days in-between without taking them. They've made my life livable whereas before I was miserable and depressed.
Review by Jon
I've had chronic diarrhea since I was 16, it's been horrible. I've been on Imodium generic for the past few years. I had a colonoscopy, MRI, all kinds of stuff done at that age and they diagnosed me with IBS. I have tried many medications, but the only one that really worked was Lomotil. I got tired of going to the pharmacy all the time and just started buying Imodium in quantity.
I have been taking it for years with great success, but I have built up a tolerance. I now take six to eight pills a day, and that's after the morning big D attack. Still, it keeps me quiet down there the rest of the day and I can work and enjoy life knowing that I should be OK until I wake up again. Much more tolerable than before.
I'm thinking of taking a chunk of time off and going off it for a week or two to see if I can lower my tolerance again, just so I'm not eating so many pills. My GI doc says it's OK, but I'd like to be down to two or three pills a day. Anyway, I have had better luck with this than anything, even though I am dependent on it. At least I can still get out and live life while dealing with this.
Review by Chris
I have had IBS-D for four and a half years and it is an awful condition. I am always searching for a bathroom everywhere I go, and if I don't see one I begin to panic. Recently, I was on a commercial plane that didn't have a bathroom and I had a panic attack for the entire one-hour flight.
I have taken two Imodium tablets every morning for four years along with a Lexapro. This has helped me substantially. I'm not sure how much the Imodium actually helps physically, but mentally, it allows me to know that I have a drug in my system that combats diarrhea so when I get into situations where there is not an accessible bathroom, I have some peace of mind. Still, it doesn't always work and on bad days I will take four to six tablets just as insurance. That normally does the trick. I hope all of you find something that works for you.
Review by Carol
I've had IBS for 20 years. It started out with infrequent diarrhea and I now have severe chronic diarrhea. I've been taking Imodium for 18 of those 20 years. I am 46, diagnosed with cancer two years past. For six years my dosage of Imodium has been four to six tablets daily. Recently my body has changed and I seem to be immune to Imodium. I now take 20 to 30 tablets daily and it is increasing.
Review by Jessica
I have dealt with IBS for about two years now. I hated the fact that I had to go to the bathroom everywhere I went and no matter what I ate it went right through me! That is the worst feeling in the world. I had started with Pepto-Bismol and I just drank a bottle every two days! I obviously got immune to it.
Then I started taking Imodium AD, and it's the greatest thing that has happened to me. Sometimes I get stomach pains if I take too many in a day, so now I'm down to about one or two a day, and my bowel movements are regular. It's so nice to be able to go out to eat without worrying about going to the bathroom as soon as you're done eating. I will continue to take the Imodium as long as I need it. Hopefully soon I can get off of it and continue life normally.
Review by Paula
Many years ago I suffered from a mild version of IBS associated with endometriosis, and then for several years had no problems. After enduring an enormous amount of stress and frustration for a long period of time, it returned with a vengeance. I suffer from the predominant diarrhea form of IBS and have tried more than one prescription medication, either with no visible effect on the IBS or I could not tolerate the medicine due to the side effects.
Last year, I had every test known to man (GI specialist) to wind up with another diagnosis of IBS. Finally, when I was nearly at the end of my rope, a family practice physician suggested that I take one Imodium per day. I have been doing this for about five months now with fantastic results. I take the Advanced version to eliminate gas also.
I had been limiting my diet to white things, such as bread, crackers, no caffeine at all, vanilla milkshakes and ice cream...and then, when I knew that I would not be in close proximity to a bathroom, or when I would travel, I would take two Imodium and that would stop any diarrhea activity unless I had eaten something within the last few days that had preceded the dosage of Imodium.
Whenever I would have a diarrhea attack, it was difficult to make it to a bathroom in time and then I would break out in a cold sweat all the while. Usually, one trip per incident was not the norm - I usually required four or five trips. Since I have been taking one Imodium per day, I still cannot drink tea or coffee, cannot eat chocolate, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. It seems that I have major problems with fiber!
I thought that when I started taking one a day, I would never go to the bathroom again because when I would take two before a travel event, I would usually wind up constipated before being able to go. Anyway, since starting the daily Imodium, my life has returned to some sense of normal and I am very happy about that. Constipation has not been a problem either. I have confidence to get out of the house now.
Review by CJ
I have been suffering from IBS-D for years now. I would not wish this on anyone! I have tried Lomotil and Bentyl but they knock me out and I hated feeling that way. I take several Imodium a day. It completely works for me. I take it with most meals and it makes my system normal. People always looked so shocked when I tell them how much I take, but my gastroenterologist said If it works for you, then take it. He said that it does not have long-term effects and I hope to God that he is right, because I cannot miss a dose, or I'll be back to square one. Good luck to all of you reading this page.
Review by Tara
I have suffered from IBS-D for many years. It has spoilt trips abroad, visits to the theater, even taking my children to school for fear there would be not toilet facilities available when I needed them. I have taken mebeverine which was prescribed by my GP but with little success, and I felt pretty miserable most of the time.
Since discovering Imodium my life has changed. I take two tablets about one hour before I go out and I can usually manage the journey without a problem, although the panic is still there until I reach my destination. Like most of you I don't know what I would do if I became immune to Imodium as my job involves a lot of traveling and meetings away from the office. Why have we been cursed with this horrible problem? Good luck everybody.
Review by Christine
Half an Imodium constipated me for days with a lot of cramps. Then after three days I would get the worst diarrhea in the world lasting for a few hours to clear out; I guess the constipation really irritated my intestines. Lomotil is pretty effective for me and not quite as strong.
Review by Marilyn
I have had IBS for about 16 years but didn't realize it until about eight years ago. I had bowel incontinence a few times and just put it down to overeating the wrong foods. As time has passed it has got worse, but when I came across Imodium it became easier to manage. I go out and know where all the toilets are but my complaint is that I have to wait two hours to know they will work before going out anywhere. I am worried that if I take them too frequently they won't work anymore.
Review by Alison
I have been suffering from IBS for about for two years now. I have had blood tests, an MRI, a cat scan of my abdomen and a colonoscopy to find out from my gastroenterologist that I have IBS. My internist put me on Librax a year ago, which I find only helps a very few of my symptoms.
I started taking Imodium last year and find that is the only thing that seems to help me and lets me go on with my life. The gas and bloating and trips to the bathroom made my life downright horrible until I started taking Imodium. I use it about twice a week and carry it with me wherever I go. I have lost many nights of sleep from the pain of gas and running to the bathroom and this has helped me a great deal. I recommend this to anyone with IBS and I don't wish this problem on anyone, it's horrible. I hope I never become immune to it because I don't know what I will do without it.
Review by Sam
My story is a little bit different because of how long I have had this awful condition compared to most here. I have had IBS-D since I was in the fifth grade (that was 1960). During my adult life I have had numerous bouts of severe diarrhea and public incontinence. I know all about the lifelong humiliation.
Three years ago I had to have both my sigmoid colon (recurrent diverticulitis) and my gallbladder removed. Since then the diarrhea has gotten much worse and I had to retire and became housebound. I developed blood clots in my legs and lungs.
My internist has tried Questran, Lomotil, Bentyl, and Lotronex, as well as all the SSRIs. I tried Heather's tummy cures and the hypnotherapy CDs. Nothing worked. Finally, when I began soiling myself even in my own home, I turned to Imodium. I take two tabs (4mgs) every other day, and that keeps me from going to the toilet six or eight times a day.
I can go out and have a half-way normal day, and even travel a bit. I had reached a point where I was almost bedridden from the constant fatigue of being dehydrated. I hope I can take Imodium for the rest of my life, and that it will continue to work, because without it I have no life - none at all.
Review by Kristy
I'm positive I have IBS and I am also lactose intolerant. Imodium Advanced is my best buddy! Packs come everywhere with me. They work wonders in my times of need, as living with IBS is publicly belittling. Most of my friends know what is wrong with me now as I can never usually go out and eat without running for the loos.
Imodium is great and gives me the confidence to get on with my daily life as needed, especially as IBS affects your lifestyle in severe ways only sufferers would understand. I'm actually petrified at the moment as I think my body is slowly becoming immune to it. Usually I only take it once a week when needed and it comes to my rescue. God forbid if I ever become immune! It's the best control I've ever had.
Review by Rebecca
I have just been diagnosed with IBS and I am 21 years of age. I suffer terribly with cramps and severe diarrhea. I have never ever had any trouble with my gastrics until I went to America, and my gastroenterologist tells me I must have picked up an infection which has caused me to have IBS.
I have been through test upon test and tried many strengths of anti-spasmodics which have not worked. I am now reliant upon Imodium because as soon as one Imodium tablet wears off I'm back to constant diarrhea two or three times after I have eaten. I always have Imodium on me, it does not leave my side. If I ever become immune to Imodium I really have no idea what I am going to do. To anyone who has IBS you have my full sympathy, this is an awful condition and I would not wish this upon anyone.
Review by Nicole
When I was a child I had severe stomach problems. Everyone told me to quit being a whiner. I was punished because my parents thought I was misbehaving! I seem to remember always having pain with my diarrhea and even once embarrassed myself when my dad couldn't get me home in time. The car had to be cleaned.
Oddly enough, my OB/GYN was the one who diagnosed me with IBS, and then my family practitioner agreed. I get so much pain in my body I feel as if I'm going to pass out, and sometimes I want to so that I don't hurt. My parents wouldn't let me take medicine so I tried everything else, including heating pads, laying on my stomach, praying, not eating, only eating the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast), and not leaving my house.
I used to drink Pepto-Bismol like it was coca-cola! Prescriptions are great, but the new Imodium AD is what takes away the gas, the diarrhea, and the pain for me. You can put it in your purse and just go! And it does it faster than anything else I take.
I'm very uncomfortable using public restrooms even though I know having IBS is something I just can't help, but if I take the Imodium it works in about 30 to 45 minutes and usually covers me for a few hours. I wouldn't recommend taking it everyday because you can develop a tolerance, but if it wasn't for Imodium, I would have a lot of embarrassing trips.
Review by Kim
I have had IBS for about four or five years now. I find it comes in the heat as well as with certain foods. I can be sitting down and feeling great and then all of a sudden I get really bad cramps and I'm saying Oh no, not again. I just hate it when it comes, so I take an Imodium 2mg and I am good for the day! I don't leave without them just like all of you. You can go online and get a coupon to save money on them, cause I know when you're buying them quite often they can get pricey. Good luck to everyone out there! I know how everyone feels, it's the most uncomfortable feeling in life!
Review by Lee
I tried Imodium and it clogs up my stomach for days! One of my friends used it too and it ended up stopping her going to the toilet for about a week and a half. She had to have an enema to relieve her. Guess it just depends on how you react to it. I find Diastop much better and lighter on the stomach.
Review by Stuart
I've had IBS for a couple of years and have a very public job. I am always prone to an IBS attack which is a complete nightmare in my job. After finding Imodium Plus capsules it's great. If I start to feel a bit squirmy in my belly I take just one capsule and after about an hour I'm fine for the rest of the day. It really is that good for me. Some days I don't need any so I never become dependent on them but I always carry them just in case.
Review by Jasmine
I've had diarrhea for a while now, and I would take Imodium AD to help reduce the number of times I went to the bathroom. It worked for a while but just recently I had major surgery and had my gallbladder removed. While I was doing some research I discovered that after having your gallbladder removed, you occasionally get diarrhea. I tried Imodium after my surgery, and it doesn't seem to be helping, but I'm happy to see it's working for others.
Review by Lianne
I have been living with severe IBS-diarrhea for just over two years now. I was told to take Imodium to control my severe diarrhea and was taking it quite often just so I could go on with my day. It was working great at first...the chewable tablets worked the greatest, since I found immediate relief once digested.
Unfortunately, due to the over-dependency of this drug, it no longer works for me. The few times I use Imodium now, I must take the tablets at least two hours before I go anywhere since it causes me to have many bowel movements before my bowels actually shut down for a few hours. And, I cannot forget to mention the agony of the stomach spasms and pains for hours and sometimes days after I have taken the tablets.
Basically, my body has become immune to the drug and it does not agree with me very well anymore. I hope this does not happen to anyone else and I am glad to hear that this drug is working for some!
Review by Vanessa
I am 47 years old and have suffered from IBS since 1991. It had become progressively worse as the years went by, and after suffering humiliating accidents in public, it came to a point where I rarely left home because of the fear of diarrhea while on the road or in public.
Discovering Imodium has been a lifesaver for me, and has given me the confidence to once again go out and take a chance on life. Granted, sometimes I have to take more than one pill, but usually two is all I need. I also take Prozac and Clonazepam to help control intestinal spasms on a daily basis, but I leave the Imodium for when I need to go out. I'm afraid of becoming resistant to it and not having anything equal to it to take its place. I became resistant to Lomotil after taking it for several years and I'm afraid of this happening with my new meds and Imodium.
Review by Mariah
I spent several miserable years not eating when I needed to go anywhere (which was frequently, because I have children), and being petrified that I would have a sudden attack of diarrhea, before I discovered Imodium. I take it several times a week now, and have done this for almost a year.
It has made a big difference in my comfort level with traveling and being able to go out to restaurants with people (which I used to not do, or I would go out and just nibble on some bread or rolls and feel like a freak). It is not a perfect cure, I still can't drink coffee or eat anything greasy, but it has helped a lot.
Review by Leroy
I use 10mg of Imodium per day to treat my severe IBS-D. On days where it seems nothing will control it, I also take Lomotil. The combination of those two meds seems to work great. I just cannot take them both at the same time as it will cause stomach problems for me.
Review by Jenny
I think I'm the only person in the whole world that Imodium doesn't help! The first time I took it, it made me feel light-headed, dizzy and faint. Haven't got a clue why, but was told by my doctor never to take it again! But from reading this great site, I can see that a lot of people could not cope with their IBS-diarrhea if it wasn't for this wonder drug.
Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Imodium? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.