Disaster. Diarrhea has hit, and you’re looking for a quick fix. So can you take Imodium while pregnant? Let’s see what the experts have to say.
Let’s not beat about the bush — s#@* happens.
And unfortunately, during pregnancy, this continues to be true.
Changing hormones, food sensitivities, anxiety, and infections can send you dashing for the bathroom.
So the question is: can you take Imodium while pregnant?
We’ll take you through the details.
In this article 📝
- What is Imodium?
- Is Imodium safe for pregnancy?
- What happens if you take Imodium while pregnant?
- Can Imodium cause miscarriage?
- Alternatives to Imodium
What is Imodium?
Imodium is a brand name for the drug loperamide.
This medicine treats diarrhea by slowing down the movement of the bowel.
Loperamide is used to treat chronic conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease and short bowel syndrome, but can also be used to treat short-term diarrhea.
Is Imodium safe for pregnancy?
It’s difficult to know whether Imodium is safe during pregnancy because there haven’t been any large studies of loperamide in human pregnancies.
Because of this, the FDA categorizes loperamide as a category C drug.
This basically means we don’t have enough info to call it 100%, undoubtedly and unequivocally safe to take while pregnant.
But while more research is needed, the results of small-scale studies are promising, showing that it’s likely okay to take.
It’s one of those situations where you have to weigh the benefits of taking the medicine against its possible risks.
And this should be navigated with your doctor.
If your diarrhea continues for more than three days, it’s definitely time to chat with a health professional.
Diarrhea itself can be serious for a pregnant mama and may signal that something else is up.
It can also lead to dehydration which is particularly dangerous when you’re pregnant as you need a steady supply of fluids to support that growing baby.
So here’s the bottom line (no pun intended, we swear):
Imodium should be used with caution if you are pregnant and only under the guidance of a doctor. That way, you can be monitored for any potential side effects of the drug, as well as any underlying conditions that may be present.
What happens if you take Imodium while pregnant?
While the small study mentioned above suggests taking Imodium while pregnant may be safe, extra caution should be exercised in the first trimester.
The first trimester is particularly delicate as this is when so much of your baby’s body and most of their internal organs are forming.
And so it’s also when your baby is most at risk for developing birth differences.
One small study on loperamide suggests it should be avoided entirely in the first trimester. And most doctors may advise you to follow this.
To reassure you, though, if you did happen to use Imodium once-off without knowing you were pregnant, there are unlikely to be serious complications.
Just chat to your doctor going forward if you continue to experience diarrhea.
Can Imodium cause miscarriage?
The good news is that a small study found no link between taking Imodium and pregnancy loss.
Again, more studies are needed, but let that put your mind at rest for now.
Alternatives to Imodium
If you decide to avoid Imodium, here are some other ways you can try to halt the runs.
- Stay hydrated. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests between eight and twelve cups a day when you’re pregnant. And this is particularly important if you’re experiencing digestive woes.
- If your diarrhea is due to a virus or bacteria, it may be best to let it run its course — provided you can be close to a bathroom, of course. That way, you can evict the dastardly germs from your system.
- Include some extra probiotics in your diet to help heal your gut. Yogurt or probiotic supplements are a good way to do this.
- Avoid fatty, spicy, and fiber-rich foods that may aggravate the condition.
- You could try the BRAT diet for a couple of days to give your gut time to heal. This meal plan focuses on plain foods like bananas, rice, apples, and toast. They also act as binders to firm up the stool.
Generally, diarrhea resolves within a few days.
If it doesn’t, it’s important to see your doctor.
Sometimes pregnancy symptoms can feel like they make NO sense.
There’s no clearer example of this than the fact that both diarrhea AND constipation are common conditions amongst mamas-to-be.
It’s not always easy to know what to do.
Check in with your Peanut community.
We’re in this together.
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