What over-the-counter medications can I take to relieve diarrhea?

Over-the-counter medications are available to help treat the symptoms of diarrhea, but if your diarrhea lasts for more than four days, contact a healthcare professional. Below are some of the nonprescription medications available to treat diarrhea:
  • Treatments containing bismuth subsalicylate, such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate
  • Treatments containing loperamide, such as Imodium or generic equivalent
  • Treatments containing kaolin and pectin, such as Kapectolin

Note: In the past few years, Kaopectate has changed its formula, and in some cases, the older version (with active ingredients attapulgite or kaolin and pectin) may still be on drugstore shelves. To be sure you're using the right treatment, check the label. And always read the label of any medication before dispensing it to children.

Continue Learning about Diarrhea

Coping with Traveler’s Diarrhea
Coping with Traveler’s Diarrhea
In 1984 Parker Bros. launched an Atari game that offered a new set of thrills: It was a treasure-hunting, puzzle-solving adventure called Montezuma's ...
Read More
When should I call my doctor if I have diarrhea?
Intermountain HealthcareIntermountain Healthcare
Call or go to the doctor or clinic for: Diarrhea lasting 7 days or more in adults or children; dia...
More Answers
What is chronic functional diarrhea?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
A functional gastrointestinal disorder in which diarrhea is the predominant symptom is called chroni...
More Answers
What Work Is Being Done to Fight Diarrhea in the Developing World?
What Work Is Being Done to Fight Diarrhea in the Developing World?

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.