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Antidiarrheal Drugs:

Antidiarrheal drugs work by altering the muscle activity of the small and large intestines to cause waste material to pass through slower. Many gastroenterologists prefer to avoid these drugs during flare-ups of IBD because complications may occur. However, between flare-ups, patients find that antidiarrheal drugs are useful in controlling urgency, cramps, and diarrhea. Antidiarrheal drugs are generally safer than drugs that reduce symptoms by reducing inflammation.

Some side effects that may occur with Antidiarrheal drugs include constipation, abdominal pain, and a sense of bloating. Narcotic antidiarrheal medications (like codeine, diphenoxylate, paregoric) may also cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, and itchy rashes. However, these side effects are very uncommon. All narcotics carry a risk of addiction, but such risk is extremely low when the drugs are used in the treatment of bowel disorders.

Loperamide is the safest of all the antidiarrheal drugs. Although it is chemically similar to narcotics, it is not classified as one and can be bought over the counter without prescription. Loperamide is long-acting and needs to be taken only once or twice a day. However, most drug plans will not pay for it.

See related articles:
Crohn's Disease
Drug Therapy for Crohn's Disease
Drugs that Reduce Inflammation
Drugs that Treat Symptoms

Drug Therapy articles:
5-ASA (5-Aminosalicylate)
Antibiotics for Crohn's Disease
Bile-salt Binders
Bulk Formers
Immunosuppressive Drugs
Steroids for Crohn's Disease
Sulfasalasinze for Crohn's Disease

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