Parent Safety Bulletin: Loperamide in Anti-Diarrhea Medications

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This post was sponsored by Influence Central as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

 shutterstock_107223623So, let’s get real here and have some parenting talk about every mom and dad’s favorite topics – diarrhea.  Yep, if you’ve got kids, you are going to have an experience at some point or another with diarrhea. If you are like us, and love to travel, you may get hit with it – 70% of travelers suffer from it.  I know that on our last trip to Disney World, a little too much time eating my way around Epcot had me running for the bathrooms, which is not how anyone wants to spend their vacations.  Kiddos aren’t immune either, which children averaging 5-7 episodes of diarrhea a year.  And if you are like me, you may look to over the counter remedies to help resolve it.  I know that was what kept me in line rides and not in bathroom lines on more than one vacation!

As a parent, however, I was not aware until just recently that many of these over the counter diarrhea relief medicines carry with them a concern.  The active ingredient in many of these medicines is loperamide, which the FDA says in a recent letter to retailers, is completely safe is used in recommended doses. However, in that same letter, the FDA has asked retailers to voluntarily stop carrying large count loperamide products.  The reason why is that if you take it in large doses, it mimics the high of opiods.  While some retailers are complying it is not mandatory for them to do so, so there is still a potential that teens or preteens could get their hands on large quantities for not too much money.  

As a parent of a teen and tween girl, one of who will be heading to college next year, educating and monitoring is so important for me, and being aware of the potential abuse of ANY over the counter medication is important.  I want my children to understand what medicine is used for, how to use it responsibly, and how to stay safe.  It’s so much easier when they are with you, and you can keep an eye out, but when they get older, and more independent, it’s hard to keep them the innocent little kiddos they once were.  For me, it’s important to try and be aware of the dangers and pressures that my kids face, including pressure to do drugs.


While I trust my children to be honest with me, I really think it’s important to be aware of these things, listen to our children, and educate them about what is safe.  I certainly wasn’t aware of this effect, but I definitely know that I will be extra careful about reading my labels when purchasing diarrhea relief medications, and I will talk to the girls’ doctor to make sure we are doing everything we can.  Loperamide may relieve some symptoms, but it does not address the underlying issue or cause, so following up with your doctor is super important.  


Keep in mind – according to the FDA letter to retailers, loperamide is completely safe when used in recommended dosages.  However, it’s a great idea to discuss this topic with your physician or your kiddos’ pediatricians for any medical advice.  

Let us know in the comments what precautions you take with over the counter medications to help keep your kids safe, and remember, read your labels!!!







  1. says

    I must be living under a rock. I’m only just hearing about the recent letter from the FDA about Loperamide. Thank you so much for shedding more light on this endemic!

  2. says

    Trying to wrap my brain around this information. I too wrote about it and still can’t believe that an ingredient in anti-diarrhea medicines can get you high if you take too much. These teens these days!!!

  3. says

    I had no idea that this was a thing! You can get high from immodium and the generics? Who would even try this? Wow, I have to check and see if we have this and make sure there isn’t any excess in the cupboard! I wonder if it’s addictive too…

  4. says

    This is important information and I am a parent of two teens. I never knew this was a risk but there is always a chance other kids will try to abuse a medication if they here it has certain affects.

  5. Candy says

    Always important to know about the medication you are taking. I always like to read and learn side effects and everything before taking anything

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