We occasionally experience diarrhea and wonder if any anti-diarrhea medicine can be taken to relieve pain. Many drugs can help relieve diarrhea, but we need to know certain types and their benefits and side effects before taking them. The dosage is also to be known, which is suitable for a particular individual. There are also natural remedies that help get rid of diarrhea, but first, let’s understand what exactly diarrhea is.
Diarrhea, in most cases, occurs when the large and small intestines cannot absorb ions and water, so one experiences watery stool. Diarrhea can be mild to severe, depending on the person’s condition. Mild diarrhea mostly lasts from 1 day to 14 days, while severe diarrhea may last for more than four weeks. Most people feel better within a day or four days after taking an anti-diarrhea medicine.
The anti-diarrhea medicine, also called antidiarrheals, is used to cure acute and chronic diarrhea. Antidiarrheals help to reduce the frequency of stool passing but will stop working once the effect of the medications is over, so the underlying cause should be treated to get permanent relief from diarrhea, as the anti-diarrhea medicines give only temporary relief. So, let’s look at some of the common causes of diarrhea.
A. Causes and Symptoms of Diarrhea.
There are many common causes of diarrhea, and different medication prescriptions are given for the cause.
1. Causes of Diarrhea
The common causes are
- Bacteria from the contaminated water or food
- Virus or Infection
- Intestinal diseases
- Foods allergies
- The side effect of certain medications
2. Symptoms of Diarrhea
Some of the symptoms of diarrhea are
- Loss of control over bowel movements
- Pain in abdomen
- Bloody Stools
- Chills and Fever
B. Anti-diarrhea Medicines
Get rid of diarrhea; there are both over-the-counter medicine and natural remedies that help get relief quickly.
1. Over-the-Counter Medication
The various over-the-counter medicines that act as anti-diarrhea medicine are
1. Pepto Bismol
Pepto Bismol is a popular OTC medicine that helps to treat diarrhea, heartburn, and indigestion. The active ingredient of pepto bismol is bismuth subsalicylate which helps to treat intestinal contractions caused due to diarrhea, indigestion, and heartburn. It is available in various forms like chewable tablets, liquid, and capulets.
The pepto bismuth subsalicylate belongs to the drug class of salicylates. The medication works directly on the root cause of diarrhea and other symptoms so that one can get relief after its dosage twice. However, if you experience any side effects, do not take medicine further and seek medical attention from a doctor immediately.
It is a medication that is only to be taken when one experiences acute symptoms of diarrhea and not when the diarrhea is severe. It helps to slow down the growth of bacteria which may be causing diarrhea. This drug is not recommended for children with flu or chicken pox. It can cure ulcerative stomach colitis but should be taken only if it is a prescription by a doctor.
This medication is available in many forms, like chewable tablets or liquid. The dosage is different for each age group. The medicine may have a side effect, so be careful not to mix it with any other medication. If two drugs are consumed, the Kaopectate may not be able to function fully on itself.
3. Loperamide or Imodium
Loperamide or Imodium, in most cases, is prescribed for acute diarrhea and diarrhea associated with inflammation of bowel movements. Loperamide (Imodium) is also given to people with ileostomies to reduce fluid in a person’s body. Loperamide (Imodium) reduces fluids secretion which helps to stop the loose stools immediately as the body absorbs the liquids. Loperamide is helpful to slow diarrhea but should not be used for constipation as it may worsen.
Loperamide or Imodium helps to solidify the poop, thus reducing the symptoms of diarrhea. Loperamide is known for being a drug that cannot be controlled, which causes many severe reactions which would affect the body negatively. So, seeking a doctor’s permission immediately is advised to minimize the impact and improve your medical conditions significantly if you notice any severe side effects.
Rifaximin is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and traveler’s diarrhea. Unlike loperamide, which stops loose stool, it is mainly used to fight diarrhea caused by bacteria. It belongs to the medication class of antibiotics but works only for diarrhea and not for colds, flu, or other viral infection.
It mostly comes in the form of tablets which can be taken before or after foods as the effects are the same. The medicine shows its effect in a day or two, but if you feel any side effects, immediately stop taking the medication and call your doctor to seek medical advice and let them know if you experience any other symptoms.
2. Natural Remedies
The various natural remedies that act as an anti-diarrhea medicine are
Probiotics are a good kind of bacteria and yeast that helps in the digestive process and cure mild diarrhea. The consumption of probiotics in the form of foods or supplements can help reduce diarrhea frequency. Some foods like Kimchi are super probiotic but should not be eaten when one has diarrhea as it is a spicy food that could worsen a person’s condition.
Diarrhea causes the loss of sound and healthy bacteria from the body, and so to reinstate the balance, one needs to have probiotics in the form of yogurt, miso, green olives, or kefir. Probiotics replace protective microorganisms and treat diarrhea and restore normal bowel movement.
2. Electrolyte Drinks
Having diarrhea can cause dehydration, so maintaining the body’s fluids is very difficult as the body does not absorb the water. So no treatment has any effects, so one is given electrolyte drinks. The electrolyte drinks have sodium, potassium, and calcium, which help to move water around the body.
So, if you feel dehydrated or have diarrhea, drinking plenty but electrolyte drinks like ORS, coconut water, smoothies, or fruit juices is recommended. The ORS is mainly taken with water; more water helps to recover quickly. But you should not exceed the consumption of electrolytes as it affects bodily fluids, blood, tissues, and urine.
3. Brat Diet
The BRAT diet was mainly recommended for children, an acronym for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. It was given to treat upset stomachs as the foods were bland and less stool was produced, which could be bulkier, slowing the loose motions caused by diarrhea. The food is starchy and has low fiber, which helps the digestion process easy.
Along with the BRAT diet, it is advisable to have other bland foods like baked or boiled potatoes, crackers, broth, weak tea, apple juice, or cooked cereals. The patients are suggested to give rest to intestines to reduce the intestinal contractions and eat food that helps to improve gut health.
4. Antibiotic & Rice Water
Antibiotic mainly helps treat diarrhea caused by parasites or bacteria but cannot treat diarrhea caused by a virus. The doctors recommend antibiotics when one consumes contaminated food or water and has diarrhea. The dose of the drugs is to be taken as per the doctor’s prescriptions as an anti-diarrhea medicine.
Rice water is considered an effective and fast way to get rid of diarrhea as it is low-fiber and stops loose stools. The rice water helps to increase fluids, does not cause dehydration, and reduces diarrhea time. To make rice water, you need to put rice and water together in a pot and boil them till you see the water become cloudy, then separate them and drink the water to stop diarrhea and have bulkier stools.
There are many anti-diarrhea medicines that we have seen, but we also saw the causes and symptoms of diarrhea. Also, the two ways to cure diarrhea are OTC medications and natural remedies. The most common cause of diarrhea is bacteria or intestinal disease, so one should not take diarrhea lightly.
The anti-diarrhea medicine is available in many forms. OTC medication for diarrhea are Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate, Loperamide or Imodium, and Rifaximin, and the natural remedies are Probiotics, Electrolyte drinks, BRAT Diet, Antibiotics & Rice Water. These medicines and treatments may or may not treat the problem that causes diarrhea, so one must visit a doctor if diarrhea lasts for more than four days.
One should also be careful when taking OTC medicines as they should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding as there may be some severe side effects and so consult a doctor or take medication only after they are a prescription by a doctor and talk with them if you feel symptoms of diarrhea does not decrease after a while.As an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.