What Are Imodium Dosages For Adults And Children?

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

The proper Imodium dosage will depend on the age of the patient and the type of diarrhea being treated. Here is what all users should know about Imodium dosage guidelines.

Loperamide Acute Diarrhea Dosage

Acute diarrhea is when watery stools begin with little warning but resolve quickly and are not attributable to a chronic condition. This is the most common reason for taking Imodium. The correct Imodium dosage for acute diarrhea varies by age.

Adult Dose

Healthy adults of any age can treat diarrhea with Imodium. The proper loperamide dosage is as follows:

  • starting dose – 4 mg
  • subsequent doses – 2 mg
  • time between drug intake – at least 1 hour
  • maximum daily dose – 16 mg
  • stop use after – 10 days or marked improvement

Once the user has taken the first dosage, they can take Imodium 2 mg after every loose stool assuming those bowel movements are at least one hour apart. The maximum amount of time an adult should take loperamide is 10 days, and most should stop sooner as the medicine should be discontinued once improvement is seen. If an adult takes loperamide for 10 days without improvement, they need to see a doctor to treat the underlying cause of diarrhea.

Pediatric Dosage

Children under the age of two cannot use loperamide. Because it is technically a powerful opioid, using it in young children can cause respiratory depression and serious cardiac adverse reactions. From the age of two and upward, it is possible to treat children’s acute diarrhea with Imodium, adjusting the doses based on age.

Children Ages 2-5 6-8 9-12 13 and Older
Starting Dose 1 mg 2 mg 2 mg 4 mg
Subsequent Doses 1 mg 2 mg 2 mg 2 mg
Time Between Drug Intake 8 hours 12 hours 8 hours 1 hour
Maximum Daily Dose 3 mg 4 mg 6 mg 16 mg
Stop Use After 5 days or marked improvement 5 days or marked improvement 5 days or marked improvement 10 days or marked improvement

If a child is small for their age, it is better to dose them based on their weight. Imodium AD dosing instructions should come with the box, making it easy to see what dose is needed for a given person. In general, loperamide dosages should not be given to a child without consulting with a doctor first.

Loperamide Chronic Diarrhea Dosage

In general, loperamide is not meant to be used longer than 10 days in people over the age of 13 or 5 days in those aged 12 and under. However, there are limited cases where it can be used to manage chronic diarrhea caused by incurable conditions. Depending on the approach the doctor is comfortable with, the user may take a specific dose every day or only take a dose when their stool starts to appear loose, or they experience other signs that a bout of diarrhea is impending. Because the time of how long Imodium takes to work varies, many patients prefer to stay on a maintenance dose.

General doses of loperamide for patients with Chronic Diarrhea

Patient Age Group Adult Elderly
Starting Dose 4 mg 4 mg
Subsequent Doses 2 mg if loose stools are seen 2 mg
Time Between Doses at least one hour 1 hour
Maximum Daily Dose 16 mg 16 mg

Loperamide use for treating Chronic Diarrhea in children is not recommended without doctor’s consultation.

Since Imodium is not meant to be used long term, boxes of the drug will not have instructions for this type of loperamide dosing. Patients should work with their doctor to determine the correct loperamide dose for them.

Adult Dose

imodium dosage for adultsWhile the dose taken should be tailored to the instructions of the patient’s doctor, there are some general rules for taking Imodium to treat adult chronic diarrhea.

The dosing instructions are similar to those for acute diarrhea. However, there is no specified time to stop taking them.

Child Dose

Unlike with acute diarrhea, it is not considered a best practice to use an Imodium dosage for kids suffering from chronic diarrhea. If a child or toddler is experiencing chronic diarrhea, they need proper medical attention and to be given specialized medicine.

Elderly Dose

The elderly can safely use Imodium to treat chronic diarrhea in the same doses as other adult patients. However, they are at a higher risk of experiencing dehydration and need to take care to drink sufficient fluids.

Depending on the overall health of the patient, their doctor may ask elderly patients to stick to a lower loperamide max dose than 16 mg.

Dosing For Renal Impairment

Because of how the body processes loperamide, there are no renal dose adjustments to be made. The recommended dose, including the maximum dose of Imodium, remains the same.

Dosing For Hepatic Impairment

Imodium can produce adverse effects in those with liver impairment. As such, patients with any form of liver disease or reduced liver function should consult with their doctor before using loperamide. Even one loperamide hydrochloride 2mg can cause problematic reactions in those without maximal liver function.

Loperamide Traveler’s Diarrhea Dosage

Because loperamide over the counter options are available in most countries, it is a popular medication when treating traveler’s diarrhea. This type of diarrhea differs from acute diarrhea in that it is almost always caused by eating foods that are either contaminated or have microbes that the patient’s body has not adjusted to.

Because traveler’s diarrhea can be caused by bacterial infections, it is advised that individuals seek medical treatment before taking an Imodium AD dosage. However, if the doctor approves it, doses are the same as when treating acute diarrhea.

Loperamide LD50

too much imodiumThere is no data on loperamide lethal dose for people as no human studies have been conducted. However, there were several studies on animals which delivered the following results:

  • LD50 for dogs (orally) – 40 mg/kg
  • LD50 for adult rats (orally) – 185 mg/kg
  • LD50 for mouse (orally) – 105 mg/kg

How Much Loperamide To Take

How much Imodium a person can take varies a lot. While general dosing guidelines help, it cannot replace the advice of a trained medical professional. Anyone concerned about how much Imodium is safe to take should speak with their doctor.

It is important to note that how much loperamide one should take only applies to on-label uses of the drug. Imodium ingredients can be abused. When they are, it is incredibly dangerous. Anyone who is wondering how many pills they need to get high or how much loperamide to take for opiate withdrawal needs to seek assistance with their addiction. The rehabilitation centers with the holistic addiction treatment programs are within the best options to consider while seeking help.

Page Sources

  1. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/loperamide#section=Non-Human-Toxicity-Values

Published on: May 6th, 2019

Updated on: June 3rd, 2020

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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