Can you eat Imodium when pregnant?

In this article, we are going to answer the question: can you eat Imodium when pregnant, what is Imodium, how does Imodium work, does Imodium can cause birth effects, what are other names for loperamide and what can I use instead of Imodium. 

Can you eat Imodium when pregnant?

No, you can’t take Imodium when pregnant. You need to ask your doctor first. According to the NHS, loperamide, the active ingredient of Imodium, is not safe during pregnancy because there are not enough studies. 

Your doctor needs to advise you if it’s safe depending on the weeks of pregnancy you are. 

What is Imodium?

Imodium is an over-the-counter medication that is used to relieve symptoms of diarrhea. The active ingredient of Imodium is loperamide which works by making the muscles in your intestine have fewer contractions and fewer bowel movements. 

After you start taking Imodium, your bowel movements should be more solid, smaller, and less frequent. 

How does Imodium work?

Imodium is used to treat sudden diarrhea. It works over the muscles of your gastrointestinal tract. Your intestines are in charge of absorbing water and nutrients. When you have diarrhea, they contract faster than normal, and food and water move too fast resulting in diarrhea. 

When you have diarrhea, you absorb less water and nutrients. Imodium makes your gastrointestinal muscles contract less resulting in less water and fever stool. It only works to stop loose bowel movements. It doesn’t treat any other symptom. 

While taking Imodium causes birth effects?

There is no proof that Imodium can cause birth defects. Loperamide, the active ingredient of Imodium, has not been tested in pregnant women so there is a lot of data missing in the field. While some may recommend using it in low doses when pregnant some others say it is not safe enough. 

The only information we have about Imodium in pregnancy is that taking too much Imodium when pregnant can contribute to birth defects similar to opioid pain medication because they work similarly. 

According to the NHS, Imodium has not been proven to be safe to use while pregnant. It has only been used in situations where it may help more than harm. 

What is diarrhea?

It Is called Diarrhea when bowel movements have a loose texture or are more liquids than normal. It is considered diarrhea when you go to the bathroom three or more times in a day. 

  • Acute diarrhea: it lasts for two days
  • Chronic Diarrhea: it lasts more than four weeks. It can be continuous or come and go. 

What are the symptoms of diarrhea? 

Apart from loose bowels movements, when you have diarrhea you can experience symptoms that may include:

  • Cramps or pain in the abdomen
  • Urgent need to go to the bathroom
  • Loss of bowel movements
  • You may also have, a fever
  • Bloody stools
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

What are other names for loperamide? 

Other brands you can find using loperamide as main ingredients may vary, here is a list of some. None of them are safe to use while pregnant without asking your doctor first.

  • Diamode
  • Imodium
  • Imodium A-D
  • Imogen
  • Imotil
  • Imperium
  • Kaonde A-D
  • Kao-Paverini Caps

What can I use instead of Imodium?

The best you can do if you have diarrhea is to change your diet, you can start with a bland diet with food that does not irritate the large intestine or colon. 

Diet is the most important part of the treatment to recover from diarrhea. It is very important to not add fiber or food that can irritate your intestine. You can follow the BRAT diet

  • B for Bananas
  • R for rice, plain white rice
  • A for applesauce
  • T for toast or bread

Other foods you can include in your bland diet are boiled potatoes, turkey ham or turkey breast, chicken breast,  unseasoned crackers, and apple juice.

You must add liquids so you don’t dehydrate.

  • Clear broth like chicken or beef broth without fat
  • Electrolyte-enhanced water
  • Decaffeinated tea like chamomile tea

As part of the treatment, you should avoid food that can trigger diarrhea. Some food you should avoid are

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Fried food
  • Spicy foods
  • Processed foods
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Sardines
  • Raw or cooked vegetables (you can only eat potatoes or carrots)
  • Fruits (you can only eat apples)
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Sugar or artificial sweeteners

Here is a link about the Bland or BRAT diet if you have more doubt about the subject. 

Conclusion

This article answered the question: can you eat Imodium when pregnant, what is Imodium, how does Imodium work, does Imodium can cause birth effects, what are other names for loperamide, and what can I use instead of Imodium.

Citation

https://www.imodium.ie/understanding-diarrhoea/types-of-diarrhoea/diarrhoea-and-pregnancy

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/03/otc-medicines-that-are-okay-during-pregnancy/

https://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/loperamide.html

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.