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What should I know about anti-diarrheal and gas medications?

Most people can safely use over-the-counter medications for diarrhea or gas. Before you use anti-diarrheal or anti-gas medications, though, read the label or speak to your pharmacist to discuss whether you have a medical condition, take a medication or have an allergy that may cause a problem. Some active ingredients do require caution. Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and other products) is related to aspirin, and should never be given to a child under 12 or to anyone with an aspirin allergy. It can also cause stomach problems in adults who are also taking aspirin. Loperamide (Imodium and other products) should not be used if you have stools that are bloody, black or tarry, which may indicate a more serious medical condition; call your doctor. Simethicone, the active ingredient in anti-gas medications (Gas-X, Mylanta Gas and other products) is relatively safe, but if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using any medication.

Continue Learning about Antidiarrheal

Who should not take antidiarrhea and gas medications?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Children aged 6 years or younger should not take antidiarrhea medications, unless your child's docto...
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Are there generic anti-diarrheals and gas medications?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Yes, generic anti-diarrheal and anti-gas products are readily available. For diarrhea, bismuth s...
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What are the side effects of anti-diarrheal and gas medications?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
The side effects of anti-diarrheal and anti-gas medications depend on the medication you are tak...
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Are Anti-Diarrhea and Anti-Gas Medications Safe to Take If I Am Pregnant?
Are Anti-Diarrhea and Anti-Gas Medications Safe to Take If I Am Pregnant?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.