Should anti-diarrhoeal medication be used to treat acute diarrhoea?

Medicine is usually not necessary and may even be dangerous in small children. Anti-diarrhoeal medication such as codeine, Imodium (loperamide) and Lomotil (diphenoxylate) decrease peristalsis and may cause ileus. They improve cramps in older children but do not prevent the loss of fluid and electrolytes from the gut. Medications which absorb water like pectin and kaolin have no role in the management of children with diarrhoea. Antiemetics (to reduce vomiting) are also not used. Traditional medicine, especially enemas, must not be given.

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