Diarrhea is common in Crohn’s disease and can come on suddenly, greatly interfering with a person’s daily life.
Crohn’s disease causes long-term inflammation of the digestive tract and typically affects the end of the small intestine or the beginning of the colon. Common symptoms of Crohn’s include:
- stomach pain
- rectal bleeding
- unintended weight loss
People with Crohn’s disease can find diarrhea a particularly troubling symptom. It can come on unexpectedly and interfere with daily activities significantly. If left untreated, diarrhea can also lead to serious health complications, such as severe dehydration.
In this article, we look at different anti-diarrheal drug treatments for people with Crohn’s disease along with some general tips for managing diarrhea.
Over-the-counter medications for diarrhea
People can buy several treatments for diarrhea over-the-counter (OTC) at pharmacies. Below are some examples:
Loperamide is a common OTC treatment for short-term diarrhea. The drug works by reducing water in the intestines and slowing down bowel movements. Loperamide can be used to control ongoing diarrhea or reduce the amount of fluid in people with ileostomies.
Loperamide is an oral medication that comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid form. A doctor can also prescribe loperamide.
Doctors generally do not recommend taking loperamide long-term, as it can increase a person’s risk of developing megacolon, where the colon swells or an intestinal obstruction develops.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warn that taking more than the recommended dose of loperamide can cause dangerous heart problems or even death.
People should speak to their doctor before taking loperamide if they have a history of a slow or irregular heartbeat.
The FDA state that loperamide is safe when taken correctly.
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