- loperamide hydrochloride
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Loperamide Hydrochloride 2 mg capsules, hard
Each capsule contains 2mg Loperamide Hydrochloride.
Excipient with known effect:
Each tablet contains 132.00 mg lactose monohydrate, 0.0013 mg carmoisine, and 0.0009 Sunset yellow FCF.
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
Green opaque cap, grey opaque body, size '4', hard gelatin capsules, filled with white to off white powder. Approximately 14 mm in length.
For the symptomatic treatment of acute diarrhoea of any aetiology including acute exacerbations of chronic diarrhoea for periods of up to 5 days in adults and children aged 12 years and over. For the symptomatic treatment of chronic diarrhoea in adults.
Adults and children over 12:
Two capsules initially, followed by one capsule after each loose stool. The usual dose is 3-4 capsules a day. The total daily dose should not exceed 8 capsules.
Studies have shown that patients may need widely differing amounts of Loperamide Hydrochloride capsules. The starting dose should be between two and four capsules per day in divided doses, depending on severity. If required, this dose can be adjusted according to result up to a maximum of eight capsules daily.
Having established the patient's daily maintenance dose, the capsules may be administered on a twice daily regimen. Tolerance has not been observed and therefore subsequent dosage adjustment should be unnecessary.
Loperamide Hydrochloride capsules is contraindicated in children less than 12 years of age.
No dose adjustment is required for the elderly.
No dose adjustment is required for patients with renal impairment.
Although no pharmacokinetic data are available in patients with hepatic impairment, Loperamide Hydrochloride capsules should be used with caution in such patients because of reduced first pass
metabolism. (see 4.4 Special warnings and special precautions for use).
Method of administration
Oral use. The capsules should be taken with liquid.
This medicine is contraindicated:
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.
• in children less than 12 years of age.
• in patients with acute dysentery, which is characterised by blood in stools and high fever.
• in patients with acute ulcerative colitis.
• in patients with bacterial enterocolitis caused by invasive organisms including Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter.
• in patients with pseudomembranous colitis associated with the use of broad spectrum antibiotics.
Loperamide Hydrochloride capsules must not be used when inhibition of peristalsis is to be avoided due to the possible risk of significant sequelae including ileus, megacolon and toxic megacolon. Loperamide Hydrochloride capsules must be discontinued promptly when ileus, constipation or abdominal distension develops.
Treatment of diarrhoea with loperamide hydrochloride is only symptomatic. Whenever an underlying etiology can be determined, specific treatment should be given when appropriate. The priority in acute diarrhoea is the prevention or reversal of fluid and electrolyte depletion. This is particularly important in young children and in frail and elderly patients with acute diarrhoea. Use of this medicine does not preclude the administration of appropriate fluid and electrolyte replacement therapy.
Since persistent diarrhoea can be an indicator of potentially more serious conditions, this medicine should not be used for prolonged periods until the underlying cause of the diarrhoea has been investigated.
In acute diarrhoea, if clinical improvement is not observed within 48 hours, the administration of Loperamide Hydrochloride capsules should be discontinued and patients should be advised to consult their doctor.
Patients with AIDS treated with this medicine for diarrhoea should have therapy stopped at the earliest signs of abdominal distension. There have been isolated reports of obstipation with an increased risk for toxic megacolon in AIDS patients with infectious colitis from both viral and bacterial pathogens treated with loperamide hydrochloride.
Although no pharmacokinetic data are available in patients with hepatic impairment, this medicine should be used with caution in such patients because of reduced first pass metabolism, as it may result in a relative overdose leading to CNS toxicity.
Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine because it contains lactose
Cardiac events including QT interval and QRS complex prolongation and torsade de Pointes have been reported in association with overdose. Some cases had a fatal outcome (see section 4.9). Overdose can unmask existing Brugada syndrome. Patients should not exceed the recommended dose and/or the recommended duration of treatment.
Non-clinical data have shown that loperamide is a P-glycoprotein substrate. Concomitant administration of loperamide (16 mg single dose) with quinidine, or ritonavir, which are both P-glycoprotein inhibitors, resulted in a 2 to 3-fold increase in loperamide plasma levels. The clinical relevance of this pharmacokinetic interaction with P-glycoprotein inhibitors, when loperamide is given at recommended dosages, is unknown.
The concomitant administration of loperamide (4 mg single dose) and itraconazole, an inhibitor of CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein, resulted in a 3 to 4-fold increase in loperamide plasma concentrations. In the same study a CYP2C8 inhibitor, gemfibrozil, increased loperamide by approximately 2-fold. The combination of itraconazole and gemfibrozil resulted in a 4-fold increase in peak plasma levels of loperamide and a 13-fold increase in total plasma exposure. These increases were not associated with central nervous system (CNS) effects as measured by psychomotor tests (i.e., subjective drowsiness and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test).
The concomitant administration of loperamide (16 mg single dose) and ketoconazole, an inhibitor of CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein, resulted in a 5-fold increase in loperamide plasma concentrations. This increase was not associated with increased pharmacodynamic effects as measured by pupillometry.
Concomitant treatment with oral desmopressin resulted in a 3-fold increase of desmopressin plasma concentrations, presumably due to slower gastrointestinal motility.
It is expected that drugs with similar pharmacological properties may potentiate loperamide's effect and that drugs that accelerate gastrointestinal transit may decrease its effect.
Safety in human pregnancy has not been established, although from animal studies there are no indications that loperamide HCl possesses any teratogenic or embryotoxic properties. As with other drugs, it is not advisable to administer this medicine in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
Small amounts of loperamide may appear in human breast milk. Therefore, this medicine is not recommended during breast-feeding.
Women who are pregnant or breast feeding infants should therefore be advised to consult their doctor for appropriate treatment.
The effect on human fertility has not been evaluated.
Loss of consciousness, depressed level of consciousness, tiredness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur when diarrhoea is treated with this medicine. Therefore, it is advisable to use caution when driving a car or operating machinery. See Section 4.8, Undesirable Effects.
Adults and children aged ≥ 12 years
The safety of loperamide HCl was evaluated in 2755 adults and children aged ≥ 12 years who participated in 26 controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials of loperamide HCl used for the treatment of acute diarrhoea.
The most commonly reported (i.e. ≥ 1% incidence) adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in clinical trials with loperamide HCl in acute diarrhoea were: constipation (2.7%), flatulence (1.7%), headache (1.2%) and nausea (1.1%).
Table 1 displays ADRs that have been reported with the use of loperamide HCl from either clinical trial (acute diarrhoea) or post-marketing experience.
The frequency categories use the following convention: very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); and very rare (<1/10,000).
Table 1: Adverse Drug Reactions
System Organ Class
Immune System Disorders
Anaphylactic reaction (including Anaphylactic shock)a
Nervous System Disorders
Loss of consciousnessa
Depressed level of consciousnessa
Abdominal pain upper
Ileusa (including paralytic ileus)
Megacolona (including toxic megacolonb)
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
(including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Toxic epidermal necrolysis and Erythema multiforme)
Renal and Urinary Disorders
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
a: Inclusion of this term is based on post-marketing reports for loperamide HCl. As the process for determining post marketing ADRs did not differentiate between chronic and acute indications or adults and children, the frequency is estimated from all clinical trials with loperamide HCl (acute and chronic), including trials in children ≤ 12 years (N=3683).
b. See section 4.4 Special Warnings and Special Precautions for use.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
In case of overdose (including relative overdose due to hepatic dysfunction), CNS depression (stupor, coordination abnormality, somnolence, miosis, muscular hypertonia and respiratory depression), constipation, urinary retention and ileus may occur. Children and patients with hepatic dysfunction may be more sensitive to CNS effects.
In individuals who have ingested overdoses of loperamide HCl, cardiac events such as QT interval and QRS complex prolongation, torsades de pointes, other serious ventricular arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and syncope have been observed (see section 4.4). Fatal cases have also been reported. Overdose can unmask existing Brugada syndrome.
Treatment: In cases of overdose, ECG monitoring for QT interval prolongation should be initiated.
If CNS symptoms of overdose occur, naloxone can be given as an antidote. Since the duration of action of loperamide is longer than that of naloxone (1 to 3 hours), repeated treatment with naloxone might be indicated. Therefore, the patient should be monitored closely for at least 48 hours in order to detect possible CNS depression.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Antipropulsives; ATC code: A07DA03
Loperamide binds to the opiate receptor in the gut wall, reducing propulsive peristalsis, increasing intestinal transit time and enhancing resorption of water and electrolytes. Loperamide increases the tone of the anal sphincter, which helps reduce faecal incontinence and urgency.
In a double blind randomised clinical trial in 56 patients with acute diarrhoea receiving loperamide, onset of anti-diarrhoeal action was observed within one hour following a single 4 mg dose. Clinical comparisons with other antidiarrhoeal drugs confirmed this exceptionally rapid onset of action of loperamide.
Most ingested loperamide is absorbed from the gut, but as a result of significant first pass metabolism, systemic bioavailability is only approximately 0.3%.
Studies on distribution in rats show a high affinity for the gut wall with a preference for binding to receptors of the longitudinal muscle layer. The plasma protein binding of loperamide is 95%, mainly to albumin. Non-clinical data have shown that loperamide is a P-glycoprotein substrate.
Loperamide is almost completely extracted by the liver, where it is predominantly metabolized, conjugated and excreted via the bile. Oxidative N-demethylation is the main metabolic pathway for loperamide, and is mediated mainly through CYP3A4 and CYP2C8. Due to this very high first pass effect, plasma concentrations of unchanged drug remain extremely low.
The half-life of loperamide in man is about 11 hours with a range of 9-14 hours. Excretion of the unchanged loperamide and the metabolites mainly occurs through the faeces.
Acute and chronic studies on loperamide showed no specific toxicity. Results of in vivo and in vitro studies carried out indicated that loperamide is not genotoxic. In reproduction studies, very high doses (40 mg/kg/day – 20 times the maximum human use level (MHUL)), based on body surface area dose comparison (mg/m2) loperamide impaired fertility and foetal survival in association with maternal toxicity in rats. Lower doses (≥ 10mg/kg/day – 5 times MHUL) revealed no effects on maternal or fetal health and did not affect peri- and post-natal development.
Non-clinical in vitro and in vivo evaluation of loperamide indicates no significant cardiac electrophysiological effects within its therapeutically relevant concentration range and at significant multiples of this range (up to 47-fold. However, at extremely high concentrations associated with overdoses (see section 4.4), loperamide has cardiac electrophysiological actions consisting of inhibition of potassium (hERG) and sodium currents, and arrhythmias.
Pregelatinized Maize starch
Carmoisine (E 122)
Patent Blue V (E 131)
Quinoline Yellow (E 104)
Sunset Yellow FCF (E 110)
Titanium dioxide (E 171)
Iron Oxide Black (E 172)
Iron Oxide Red (E 172)
Iron Oxide Yellow (E 172)
After first opening of the HDPE bottle : 30 days
Store below 25°C.
PVC/Aclar -Aluminium blister packs containing 6, 10, 12, 18, 30, 40, 60 and 100's capsules & HDPE bottle pack of 250 capsules.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed
No special requirements.
Brown & Burk UK Ltd
5 Marryat Close
6-9 The Square, Regus Stockley Business Park, Uxbridge, UB11 1FW, UK
+44 (0)203 384 7188
+44 (0)203 384 7188
+44 (0)203 384 7188
+44 (0)203 384 7188