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Imodium Dependence


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#1

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 06:22 PM

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Anyone heard of Imodium becoming a problem with daily use. I always try to avoid using any drugs on a daily basis if I can help it. I've been using Imodium one pill daily for some time now. I worry that if I stop my diarrhea will be much worse. Anyone gone through that before? Thanks.Rick

#2 tkfuzzkid

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:32 AM

I take immodium and pepto daily to help control my IBS-D. Am careful about taking the pills as they tend to constipate me unless I am really, really bad; perhaps during a particularly nasty virus. Take liquid pepto and liquid immodium. I don't take the full dose of immodium liquid, but keep measuring spoons so I can adjust the dose to how I am doing. Knowing the maximum dosage is important. Also, keeping a medicine log of what you take can be very helpful in determining what is working and what is not and how much to take.

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 08:09 PM

Years ago, I used to see a GI dr who scared me by saying I could become incontinent if I kept taking Imodium as much as I did. Since then I discovered this board, did some of my own research, and am pretty sure he was full of it. Many people do take Imodium regularly, often as prescribed or directed by their GI dr.I DID definitely build up a tolerance to Imodium. It took more and more to stop D attacks. When I was off of it for months while taking Lotronex (1st time around), I apparently lost much of my tolerance. When Lotronex was recalled, I could take much lower doses of Imodium than I used to need. I had been getting concerned as it was taking more and more pills to affect me. I never took Imodium on a regular schedule and don't know that I would, based on my own experiences. I did take it frequently to stave off attacks.Lotronex worked wonderfully for me Posted Image

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 06:55 AM

I developed IBS-D after catching a stomach bug a year ago: rotten luck! After going through the usual rigmarole of blood tests, ultrasounds, barium meals, endoscopy and colonoscopy, the doctor has basically no tests left to give me, and I've been formally diagnosed.I am an actress, and travel a lot with my work; as well as being on stage in front of the public, so getting this under control was absolutely essential right from the get-go. I'm also only 25, and I wasn't about to let this condition dictate my life! Imodium works wonders for me, and I use it on a daily basis. I take 4 Imodium Plus (this is what they're called in the UK; although I think they might be called something else in the US) every morning first thing - upping the dose to 6 if things are particularly hairy. I've been doing this for almost a year now.I was also concerned that taking this long-term would be damaging, but I have been assured by both my doctor and the gastorentorologist I saw for tests that it is fine to take it - as long as the dosage is below or up to the maximum - and there shouldn't be any negative effects. Loperamide (the active ingredient in Imodium) is a locally acting drug, and fairly harmless to other organs (the liver etc). If it helps you, and brings your BMs back to a manageable level, then go with it. I really wish you the best with managing your IBS. It seems crazy to me that so many of us suffer with this - and in such varied forms - and the medical profession can't really offer anything to help! One particularly helpful doctor told me that IBS was a psycological illness, and all in my mind. I admit that IBS certainly made me anxious at first, but who wouldn't be more anxious if the threat of having an accident was held over their head all day every day! After a course of CBT to deal with the anxiety, I can report that the physical effects of IBS remain unchanged, so I am doubtful that this is an illness 'of the mind'.However, I think the best way to deal with IBS is to 'live and let live' - treat it like a housemate or a pet: don't be frightened of it; engage with it. Positive thinking! Or, as my religious grandmother would've said: 'The Lord helps those who help themselves'!

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:45 PM

Lortronex worked great for me as well. When I was taking it, I forgot that I had IBS. The people at the FDA are criminals re: this medication and the handling of it.

#6 amanda8

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 01:06 PM

I have taken Imodium fairly consistently for about 4 years now. I have never experienced any adverse reaction or worsening of my symptoms from taking it as much as I do. There have been times when, for whatever reasons, my IBS has flared to a point where Imodium cannot touch my symptoms. Those days will happen regardless for most. It doesn't mean the Imodium necessarily stopped working or loses effectiveness in my experience. And of course, remember that if you stop taking it, your D will return. Imodium isn't a cure. It's like bandaid, simply treating the symptoms. If you stop it, your D will still be there and it may seem worse than before because you've been used to the Imodium controlling your symptoms.Try to take the lowest effective dose you can. You may find you don't need it daily, or that your needs will fluctuate depending on your stress, other illnesses, etc. That's okay. Just listen to your body. You can generally tell if you need more. It begins to work, for me, 20 minutes after I take it. Definitely should be kicking in within an hour. If after an hour, you still have D, take another dose. I found this works better than popping too many pills at the outset and constipating myself. Splitting your dose (half in the am, half in the pm) works best when you have to take it daily. It keeps a steady amount of it in your system.I used to take 2-4 a day almost daily for about 3 years. I tried Lotronex, but my doctor wouldn't up my dosage from .5mg per day. I found i still had to take Imodium while on Lotronex, but I definitely cut back significatly. I eventually stopped taking Lotronex after 6 months of being on it because I still suffered from a great deal of symptoms and my doctor made it so hard to get my rx's, in addition to refusing to try upping my dose. Since then, I have had to take Imodium only 2-3 times per week. I have no D now, but I take it on days when I feel like I just can't stop pooping, even though my stools are well formed. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about :(

#7 Kathleen M.

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 02:12 PM

Imodium doesn't seem to make things get worse than they would on their own. Some people are worried because Imodium is chemically related to opium and other narcotics. However the amount of Imodium that gets out of the gut is extremely small so the addiction risk is near zero. I would say zero but there are case reports of addicts who will use Imodium to fill the addiction. However, they need huge doses. Like 160 pills at a time kind of dosages. I hate to think how badly that constipates even someone with a high tolerance for narcotics.Anyway, there doesn't seem to be much risk at the one or two pills a day for IBSers. Some people with Ulcerative colitis have to be careful as there is a very specific side effect they get at high doses of Imodium. They've done some relatively long term studies with Imodium in IBSers and found it to be safe and often effective. If you are really concerned occasional drug holidays when you aren't going anywhere and don't care if you have diarrhea sometimes makes people feel better about continued use of a medciation (assuming it is for a condition where it isn't risky to go a few days without it, like a diabetic skipping their meds for a few days might be)
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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:10 AM

I've had IBS for many years, but it's flared up in the last 2 months where I hate to go anywhere.(If you get my drift. :( ) I lost my health insurance 4 years ago, so I have to pay for any doctor visits, meds, etc. which is hard since my husband gets SSDI and I can't work. My local clinic prescribed me Donnatal, which is a $4 med(an old one I know, but cheap). I also have to take Immodium every other day. Neither are 100% effective, but help. If I don't take my Donnatal every day, I'm back to square one. :) I'm new here.

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 02:20 PM

For over three years I took 6-8 Immodium EACH DAY! I had no problem stopping. My IBS symptoms were improving, so I went off the Immodium. I did not take a single Immodium for five years. During that time, I got married, got pregnant, and had my first child. I recently have had some IBS-D symptoms, but 1-3 Immodium seem to take care of it. Nicole

#10 Friday

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 12:46 PM

Am replying to Amanda8's comment:***I have no D now, but I take it on days when I feel like I just can't stop pooping, even though my stools are well formed. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about*****I do so know what you're talking about! Does anyone else get this I wonder?! It's not like D, it's just a constant feeling/need to have a poop. Does the imodium stop this? How many tablets would you need to take to cut this problem down a bit? It's so frustrating!

#11 mrae

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:52 AM

I don't have diarrhea, but I have alot of bowel movements, kind of loose with extreme urgency. I can take 2 immodium and I am good all day. It takes away the feeling of having to constatnly go and the urgency also.

#12 Carole22

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:39 AM

last week for the first time in many years I went four days without taking any either immodium or lomitol. I was taking between 2 and 6 per day. with an average of 4 daily.Sadly I am back on the immodium again, but will let my bowels move a time or two (if I am at home )before reaching for the immodium.
Carole

#13 mrae

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:15 AM

I am now on Lomotil 2 in the morning, but before I take them i always make sure I have at least 2 bowel movements. This way I know I will not be backed up. So far it seems to work. There have only been a few days where i needed to take an immodium with the lomotil and that was because I ate things I shouldn't have. Other than that the Lomotil is working great for me.

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:19 AM

During my first year at uni i was taking Immodium plus (UK) and immodium Instants pretty much daily. Mostly i was taking between 2 and 3 but after about 2 months i stated to experience side-effect - severe constipation, cramping and feeling sick. I stopped taking Immodium as i was worried about the effect it was having on my body. I found that I was also becoming somewhat tolerant of them and had to up my dose. I hate being tablet dependent but found that once i came off the tablets i was able to stay off them for about 6 months as i was so scared of going back to that feeling. Although my symptoms didnt diminish i found that i was able to somewhat accept them and 'deal' with them better. Plus it was a cheaper 6 months! 2 years on, i'm back on immodium (or a version of it) but im careful not to take it every day as realistically now one or two tablets last me 2 days as long as i control my food intake. Now i only take it when im going out somewhere and i'm experiencing severe problems. The advice for Immodium Plus is that they shouldnt be taken two days in a row, so i dont particularly use them any more. I think if you're taking immodium daily to stop the diarrohea without taking a break then you have already become dependent on it.Only my opinion but as a lot of you have said you dont like to take tablets (me neither after years of taking paracetamol before being diagnosed) perhaps taking a break from them when you don't need to be anywhere can help to clear your system a bit of the drug. Since after all drugs are drugs at the end of the day.

#15 BQ

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 11:37 AM

The advice for Immodium Plus is that they shouldnt be taken two days in a row, so i dont particularly use them any more. I think if you're taking immodium daily to stop the diarrohea without taking a break then you have already become dependent on it.

I have never read anything to support this claim. Do you have a research type link for us to support this?When you say "The advice for Immodium Plus".. whose advice are you talking about???Or is it your own?? As in:

Only my opinion

Since after all drugs are drugs at the end of the day.

Yes they are and some of us need them daily despite what you have been told or what you personally think or what works personally for you.Just because you do not like to take them everyday or they don't work as well if you take them everyday.. doesn't mean others can't be completely fine taking them daily. Please try to remember that we are all different. What helps one of us may not help another of us. So try to keep in mind that not everyone can do things as you do them.
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#16 jmc09

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 04:14 PM

I take 4 imodium twice within an hour every day and have done for about a year before that I did it with 2 doses of 2 tablets also.I agree that you can create a tolerance to them but if you can find an alternative for a few days then they usually work again. This is in my experience anyway.I would love to take less as they make my bowels sluggish but not constipating.
Diagnosed originally with microscopic colitis in 1992 but no inflammation detected on subsequent colonoscopies,so IBS diagnosed. Hoping to share my personal opinions and experiences to help others and become more aware myself. No medical training at all.

#17 Friday

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:04 PM

what's the alternative though? I take a tricyclic (20mg) to slow down my gut, take it each day, but am not sure it's that helpful really. I also usually take one imodium (ie 2mg) a day. But if I'm not going out then I'll have a break for one day. But next day I'll get diarrhoea again, maybe from the day before? And I'll take another and it will take an hour or so to stop the diarrhoea. So I guess that could mean I'm becoming dependant? worry worry.

#18 BQ

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 07:05 PM

No Friday I would say that is just HOW imodium works and NOT that you are becoming dependent on it. In fact I have found NO info that says dependence is even possible.
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#19 jmc09

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 06:40 AM

I saw my consultant Prof Whorwell just the other day and he told me imodium/loperamide is completely harmless and can be taken in large doses for a long period of time with no worries of health risks. He told me not to worry about taking them as they are no problem for IBS patients.The only problems can be dehydration,drink lots of water and excessive constipation if you take a lot regularly, but nothing too serious.
Diagnosed originally with microscopic colitis in 1992 but no inflammation detected on subsequent colonoscopies,so IBS diagnosed. Hoping to share my personal opinions and experiences to help others and become more aware myself. No medical training at all.

#20 uhohsibo

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

Nobody has written here for a couple years, but I want to give my experience with Imodium so anyone looking at this form now will have more information:You CAN become dependent on Imodium. Anyone who says it is not possible is flat out ignorant. I had two GI's tell me not to worry, if it helps then take it everyday. Well, almost two years later and now my new GI at the Cedars-Sinai Motility Clinic (for those who don't know of it, it's the leading center for IBS and SIBO in the country, if not the world) tells me that Imodium is probably a big part of the problem. Over the last two years my symptoms have become increasingly worse. Some days I'd take two Imodium, others 4, others upward of 12 or 14. But it was EVERYDAY without skipping a beat. Now, after being probed and prodded and all that by a number of GI's, I've been diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). I've begun cutting back my dose of Imodium and I'm slowly but surely weaning myself off. IT IS ANYTHING BUT EASY. My usual stomach pains and discomfort aren't as bad as they were. And my stools aren't as loose as they were. BUT I have a myriad of other symptoms now: constant sweats (cold and hot), a strange indescribable discomfort in my stomach, and severe insomnia. Guess what! Opiate withdrawal! My doctor said it can take 2 weeks to a month before the withdrawal symptoms disappear. This is such great fun haha. But my SIBO symptoms haven't been as bad since I've begun weaning off. So that pretty obviously shows that the Imodium has actually been doing more harm than good. Just someinfo for anyone who wonders about Imodium dependency. It's REAL. Be careful.





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