Many people have problems with diarrhoea, not everyone knows why.

IMODIUM® products have helped bring diarrhoea relief to millions of diarrhoea sufferers globally for almost 40 years. During this time we've collected a lot of knowledge about diarrhoea, its causes and symptoms, and especially how to treat it. Here are some of the questions we're asked most often, along with our answers.

If you need to report an adverse event or side effect from one of our products, please call us at:
Australia 1800 029 979
New Zealand 0800 44 6147

If you have a question about our products, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions, to see if these help prior to contacting us:

When your digestive system is working normally, food and fluid pass from the stomach into the small intestine and then into the colon. The small intestine and colon are lined with cells, which absorb the nutrients and water that the body needs. The rest of the food and water then pass through the body, in the form of stools.

When these cells become irritated, the normally slow, wavelike movement of the intestines can become overactive, moving food and fluids through the colon too quickly, so less is absorbed by the body. This results in watery stools – better known as diarrhoea.

To find out more, visit our Causes of diarrhoea and How do IMODIUM® products work? sections.

Acute diarrhoea can be caused by lots of different things. Here are some of the main causes:

  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Allergy or intolerance to certain foods
  • Eating too much rich or spicy food
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress
  • Travellers’ Diarrhoea
  • Menstruation

For more information on acute diarrhoea and how to treat it, visit our How do IMODIUM® products work? section.

You can treat short-lived bouts of diarrhoea yourself, unless you are experiencing any additional symptoms (if you experience fever or blood or mucus in your stools you should see a doctor). Symptoms of diarrhoea can be relieved by using IMODIUM® Capsules , IMODIUM® Zapid® or IMODIUM® Advanced. IMODIUM® has a range of products to suit you:

Product Available on shelf in most pharmacies. Available on shelf in most grocery stores.
IMODIUM® Capsules 8 Yes Yes
IMODIUM® Capsules 20 Yes No
IMODIUM® Zapid® 6 Yes Yes
IMODIUM® Zapid® 12 Yes No
IMODIUM® Advanced 6 Yes Yes
IMODIUM® Advanced 12 Yes No

No. IMODIUM® Capsules, IMODIUM® Zapid® and IMODIUM® Advanced tablets are available over the counter in pharmacies and in grocery stores.

Some people believe that diarrhoea is the body's way of 'flushing out' the bugs that they think are causing the diarrhoea, and that anti-diarrhoea medicines act like a cork, keeping the bugs inside.

However, in reality, this is not the case.

Although bugs, or rather bacteria and viruses, can cause diarrhoea, for many people, the cause is simply stress or anxiety, or just a change in climate. If bacteria and viruses are present, the body will usually get rid of them in a day or so. But in the meantime, IMODIUM® products can help you feel better and carry on as normal. By using IMODIUM® products, you can help prevent the loss of watery stools that take vital fluids and nutrients from the body. But if symptoms persist, you should seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.

Only people above 12 years of age can use IMODIUM®. Children below 12 years can use oral rehydration solutions to help prevent dehydration during diarrhoea.

Oral rehydration solutions are only designed to replace lost fluids and electrolytes ('salts') from the body to prevent dehydration. They do not control the symptoms of diarrhoea.

For more information, visit our Causes of diarrhoea and How do IMODIUM® products work? sections.

It is not advisable to use IMODIUM® during pregnancy or breastfeeding. You should ask your doctor for advice on alternative treatment.

Constipation is very rarely caused by IMODIUM®. As long as you follow the recommended dosage, IMODIUM® can provide you with effective relief from diarrhoea.

Poor hygiene, contaminated food or water and general change in climate, all combine to make holiday diarrhoea an extremely common complaint. It can even be triggered simply by a change in diet. Diarrhoea can really spoil a well-earned holiday, so make sure you pack some IMODIUM® products in your suitcase.

To find out more, visit our Causes of diarrhoea section.

Overeating and drinking tends to make our digestive system work too quickly, causing diarrhoea. So, always try to eat sensibly and avoid excess! However, if diarrhoea does occur, treating with IMODIUM® products can relieve the symptoms and help restore your body’s natural rhythm.

Diarrhoea caused by having to perform in public is such a well recognised problem, it even has its own name – Performance Anxiety Diarrhoea (PAD). If you know you’re a sufferer, having an IMODIUM® product handy can give you the confidence you need to perform at your best.

Spicy food is a common cause of diarrhoea – some digestive systems are simply not made to handle the heat. If you otherwise enjoy spicy food and would rather not avoid it, make sure you have an IMODIUM® product handy in case you do get diarrhoea.

Unfortunately, many women suffer from diarrhoea during menstruation. It is thought to be caused by changes in your hormonal balance. But you don’t have to accept it as a normal part of your monthly cycle; you can treat it effectively with an IMODIUM® product.

Diarrhoea can make you feel uncomfortable in more ways than one – especially if you are at the pharmacy with several people queuing behind you. Just remember that diarrhoea is a common complaint your pharmacist deals with. They’re trained to provide professional advice and understanding, and can offer you the right IMODIUM® product. If you feel particularly embarrassed, why not ask to speak to the pharmacist in private?

To find out more, visit our products section.

Children are less able to cope with losing body fluid through diarrhoea than adults; so the most important step is to replace fluids quickly. Your pharmacist can provide oral rehydration treatments to help with this, but if the problem continues, or the child is under 5 years old, it is advisable to see your doctor.

Children over the age of 12 can be treated effectively with an IMODIUM® product.

If you have diarrhoea symptoms which are persistent, recurrent or accompanied by blood or other symptoms, you should see your healthcare professional – particularly if you have recently been abroad to a less well-developed country. If there is no apparent reason for your diarrhoea and you don't seem to have any of the causes described on this website, it could be down to food intolerance, or possibly just stress. IMODIUM® products can help in some of these cases, but it’s important to get advice from your pharmacist or doctor first.

IMODIUM® Zapid® and Capsules contain Loperamide while IMODIUM® Advanced contains a combination of Loperamide and Simethicone.

IMODIUM® Advanced provides multi-symptom relief of diarrhoea and wind pain including cramps, bloating and gas. IMODIUM® Advanced is used to treat short-lived bouts of diarrhoea, containing the additional ingredient simethicone, which helps to soothe excess gas in the gut and relieve painful wine related symptoms.

IMODIUM® Zapid® is a unique format that dissolves instantly on your tongue, without the need for water. It is ideal for when you’re on the go and need an easy solution to treat your diarrhoea

IMODIUM® Capsules is New Zealand’s #1 diarrhoea treatment* in an easy to swallow capsule format

IMODIUM® Capsules is the tried and trusted remedy, providing diarrhoea relief for more than 25 years.

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