Loperamide works by slowing down the movement of the intestine and reducing the speed at which the contents of the gut pass through. The branded version of Loperamide is called Imodium. Food remains in the intestines for longer and water can be more effectively absorbed back into the body. This results in firmer stools that are passed less often.Before taking loperamideBefore taking loperamide make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:* If you suffer from liver problems.* If you suffer from colitis (inflammation of the bowel).* If you have a condition where slowing of the bowel should be avoided, for example, constipation or bloated tummy.* If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.* If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.* If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.Loperamide is not recommended in children under 4 years.How to take loperamide* Take loperamide exactly as directed. The usual dose for an adult is two tablets or capsules to start with, followed by one tablet or capsule after each loose bowel movement. This usually means taking three or four doses a day. Never take more than 8 tablets or capsules each day. If the loperamide is for a child, the dose will depend upon the child's age. If you are unsure of what dose to give, speak to your doctor.* Swallow loperamide capsules and tablets whole, not crushed or chewed, with a glass of water.* Suck or chew loperamide chewable tablets before swallowing.* Allow loperamide orodispersible tablets to dissolve in the mouth.Getting the most from your treatment* In addition to taking loperamide, oral rehydration salts may be taken to help prevent dehydration and replace lost salts. Check with your pharmacist before taking that these are suitable for you.* Make sure you also drink plenty of clear fluids such as water or very diluted squashes or fruit juices. Avoid drinking alcohol or milk.* As your diarrhoea begins to improve try eating more solid foods.* If your symptoms persist for more than 24 hours consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice, if you have not already done so. If loperamide has been prescribed by your doctor, and symptoms have not settled after 5 days, return for further advice.* If symptoms get worse or you have a fever (high temperature) ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.