Even though Crohn’s medication reduces inflammation and abdominal pain, many people still require antidiarrheal medication to control diarrhea and cramping. Antidiarrheal medications come in both prescription and over-the-counter varieties, either as tablets or rectal suppositories.Chronic diarrhea carries with it the possibility of dehydration. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization for intravenous fluids and electrolyte replenishment. If you live with the disease, recognizing the signs of dehydration is vital:
-dark, concentrated urine
Children are especially susceptible to dehydration caused by diarrhea. In addition to the above symptoms, children may complain of dry mouth or fever. Eyes, cheeks and abdomens may appear sunken, and the child may be irritable or restless. If a child with Crohn’s has diarrhea, consult a doctor immediately.
Adults should see a doctor if diarrhea lasts more than three days (or less if you have a history of chronic diarrhea). Severe rectal or abdominal pain, high fevers, bloody or tarry stools, or signs of dehydration should be reported.
Common Antidiarrheal Medications
Many medications treat diarrhea. The following three are among the more common. Codeine and diphenoxylate are available only through prescription, while loperamide (better known as Imodium®) is available both by prescription and over-the-counter.
|Loperamide, or Imodium, is generally taken after each attack of diarrhea. It may be taken on a schedule throughout the day if used to treat chronic diarrhea.
Drink plenty of fluids while taking Imodium.
-nausea or vomiting.
Seek medical attention if you develop a high fever or have bloody stools while taking loperamide.
||Codeine is a narcotic, and is habit forming over time. After long-term use, codeine should be reduced slowly: stopping suddenly causes withdrawal effects.
Inform your doctor of any history of alcohol or drug dependence, emotional problems, brain disease, under-active thyroid, asthma, lung disease, heart problems, or lung or kidney disease before taking codeine.
If you are or plan to become pregnant, let your doctor know.
Tell your doctor of any allergies you have, and all current medications being taken, prescription or not.
|-drowsiness (alcohol intensifies this side effect)
Call a doctor if you develop:
-severe dizziness or -drowsiness
-slow heart rate
|Diphenoxylate and atropine, like codeine, can be habit forming. After long-term use, diphenoxylate and atropine should be reduced slowly: stopping suddenly causes withdrawal effects.
Inform your doctor of any allergies you have, and all current medications being taken, especially MAO Inhibitors, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, vitamins, narcotics and muscle relaxants.
If you have chronic lung problems, ulcerative colitis, liver disease, or a history of alcohol dependence, tell your doctor.
If you are, or plan to become, pregnant, let your doctor know.
|Side effects are rare, but can be severe. They include:
-loss of appetite.