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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


IMODIUM® products have helped bring diarrhea relief to millions of diarrhea sufferers globally for almost 40 years. During this time we've collected a lot of knowledge about diarrhea, its causes and symptoms, and how to treat it. Here are some of the questions that we are asked most often, along with our answers.


When your digestive system is working normally, food and fluid pass regularly from the stomach into your intestines. Once in your intestines, the nutrients from the food you eat and fluids you drink are absorbed. The remaining waste is then passed in normal stool consistency.

However when you have diarrhea, your intestinal muscles start to work in overdrive, which causes water and nutrients to move through your system much more quickly than usual. When this happens, your body does not have enough time to absorb these nutrients and fluids properly, which results in the loose or watery stools, commonly known as diarrhea.

To find out more, visit our Why Diarrhea Happens and Causes of diarrhea sections.

IMODIUM® products are not recommended for children under 12 years of age. Children can become dehydrated more quickly; so oral hydration treatments are recommended if your child is under 12. If their diarrhea lasts longer than 48 hours, or you are otherwise concerned about their health you should consult your doctor.

For more information on diarrhea in children and how to treat it, visit our Diarrhea in Children section.

Acute diarrhea can be caused by lots of different things. Here are some of the main causes:

  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Allergy or intolerance to certain foods
  • Eating too much rich or spicy food
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Travelers’ Diarrhea
  • Menstruation

For more information on acute diarrhea and how to treat it, visit our Causes of Diarrhea section.

A recent consumer survey found that 84% of us feel weak and lacking in energy when suffering from diarrhea. The underlying reason for this is that when you have diarrhea your body does not absorb the nutrients and fluids that it needs to stay hydrated and energized. So why leave it untreated when you can relieve diarrhea and help reduce the loss of fluids, salts, and nutrients in the process. Here’s what healthcare professionals say:

  • Experts in this field recommend that acute (short-term) diarrhea in otherwise healthy adults can be self-medicated without delay - and in fact there is no advantage in letting diarrhea run its course.
  • Gastroenterologists also recommend Loperamide as the ‘treatment of choice’ for the relief of diarrhea symptoms.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to ensure you remain well hydrated. Consider oral rehydration sachets if you risk becoming dehydrated.
  • However if you have a high temperature, blood in your stools, or your diarrhea has not improved over 48 hours you should talk to your doctor.

No, you don’t need a prescription to buy IMODIUM®. As a trusted diarrhea treatment, IMODIUM® products are widely available in pharmacies, grocery stores, and most other retail locations.

Many people believe that it’s best to let diarrhea run its course in order to ‘flush’ bacteria and toxins out of the system or because they think that diarrhea medicines act like a cork. However, in reality, this is not the case.

Diarrhea is actually just a symptom indicating that there has been a disruption to your digestive system, rather than a defense mechanism: it is your immune system that fights infection, so there is no need to leave diarrhea to run its course. If bacteria and viruses are present, the body will usually get rid of them in a day or so. But in the meantime, IMODIUM® products can help you feel better and carry on as normal. By using IMODIUM® products, you can help prevent the loss of vital fluids and nutrients from the body. So why endure it when you can relieve it? You don’t have to suffer in silence; you can treat your diarrhea and get back in control in no time.

As with many medicines, IMODIUM® products are not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant or caring for a newborn, diarrhea can often be the last thing you want to deal with. However, you shouldn’t worry as in most cases drinking fluids, eating healthily and resting should help you recover. If you are concerned it’s best to consult your GP for advice.

For more information on treating diarrhea while pregnant, visit our Diarrhea and Pregnancy section.

Oral rehydration solutions replace lost fluids and electrolytes, and help prevent dehydration but do not relieve diarrhea.

Contrary to popular belief, constipation is very rarely caused by IMODIUM®. In fact, in clinical trials with IMODIUM®, less than 3% of users reported constipation as a side effect. After a bout of diarrhea you naturally feel empty and it can take time for your bowel to return to its normal pattern. IMODIUM® actually works in harmony with your body to help restore its natural rhythm and gently slows your digestion back down to a normal pace.

Travelers’ diarrhea has many causes, from contaminated food to foreign bugs your body isn’t immune to. Travelers’ diarrhea is very common and can definitely put a damper on your holiday, so it’s a good idea to pack IMODIUM® with you in your suitcase. IMODIUM® Quick-Dissolve tablets are particularly helpful if you are on the go because as they melt in your mouth and do not need to be taken with water.

Overeating and drinking can upset our digestive system and lead to diarrhea, so it is best to try to eat your favourite foods in moderation. However, if diarrhea does occur, IMODIUM® can quickly relieve your symptoms and help restore your body’s feeling of harmony.

Here are a few everyday habits that can upset your digestive system. Try to avoid:

  • Eating too quickly – it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full, so eating more slowly can help you avoid overeating.
  • Gulping down food – when you gulp, you swallow air, which can lead to trapped wind and poor digestion
  • Eating too many fatty and spicy foods or drinking too much alcohol
  • Eating big, heavy meals – these take longer to digest and make your system work harder
  • Eating late at night – your digestive system is at its slowest at the end of the day. Try to eat your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime

Neither IMODIUM® Complete caplets nor IMODIUM® Calming Liquid contain additives derived from meat or other animal sources. However, IMODIUM® LIQUI-GELS® and IMODIUM® Quick-Dissolve tablets contain gelatin, which is derived from an animal source.

No. All of the products within the IMODIUM® family are 100% lactose-free.

All of the products within the IMODIUM® family are gluten-free. However, IMODIUM® Complete caplets contain some ingredients which may be wheat-derived.

Diarrhea caused by having to perform in public is such a well-recognized problem; it even has its own name – Performance Anxiety Diarrhea (PAD). If you know you are likely to have a problem, having a pack of IMODIUM® Quick-Dissolve on hand and taking it at the first sign of diarrhea, can give you the confidence you need to perform at your best. To find out more, visit our Stress and diarrhea section.

For some people, diarrhea is accompanied by the uncomfortable symptoms of stomach cramps, gas and bloating, which are all caused by excess gas in the gut. IMODIUM® Complete is specially designed to treat this uncomfortable combination of symptoms, so you can get relief and carry on with what you need to do.

About 1 in 5 women get diarrhea during their period. It can cause discomfort and make you feel self-conscious, but you don’t have to let it ruin your day. IMODIUM® can quickly help relieve diarrhea during your period.

A lot of people find that diarrhea treatment is embarrassing to ask for so you’re not alone. It’s good to remember that diarrhea is one of the most common complaints your pharmacist deals with. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 10 Canadians suffer from diarrhea on a relatively frequent basis. Your pharmacist is trained to offer you the best treatment possible, so you can always ask to speak to them in private to get their advice.

IMODIUM® Quick-Dissolve tablets are specially formulated to dissolve instantly on your tongue, so you can get rapid relief from diarrhea without the use of water. Perfect for when you’re on the go or traveling.

Everyone is different,so it can be difficult to identify the cause of your frequent diarrhea. For some it could be eating habits or food intolerances while for others it could be due to menstruation, or a reaction to stress brought on by a busy modern lifestyle. It’s good to understand your body so that you can manage digestive symptoms accordingly. We offer tips and advice to help improve your digestive health and well-being – find out more in the Tips & Prevention section of our website. However, because frequent or more persistent diarrhea can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition, you may need to visit your GP for more advice.

Norovirus is more commonly called the stomach flu. It is the most common cause of gastrointestinal illness which often leads to diarrhea. The stomach flu is very contagious and can spread quickly if you don’t wash your hands regularly. If you have diarrhea as a result of the stomach flu, you can treat your symptoms with IMODIUM®.