Diarrhea medicine is needed to treat diarrhea that gets worse quickly or doesn’t go away after a few days. Before consumption, it is important to understand the instructions for using diarrhea medicine so that the medicine can work optimally.
Diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, lactose intolerance, certain medical conditions, or as a side effect of medications or surgery. Generally this condition lasts for 2-3 days.
However, if the diarrhea does not go away, you will need to take diarrhea medication to prevent complications, such as dehydration. The use of diarrhea medicine must also be adjusted to the cause of diarrhea.
The following are some choices of diarrhea medications that are commonly prescribed by doctors and their instructions for use:
ORS is a liquid diarrhea medicine consisting of a mixture of water, sugar, and salt. This drug serves to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. During diarrhea, the body will lose a lot of fluids. Therefore, you are advised to consume electrolyte drinks or ORS to prevent dehydration.
ORS can be consumed by everyone with doses adjusted by the doctor. The general dose of ORS for children over 1 year of age is 100–200 ml each time they have a bowel movement. Meanwhile, the dose of ORS for children under 1 year is 50–100 ml each time a bowel movement.
Probiotics are also considered to be able to help overcome diarrhea by restoring the balance of bacteria in the intestines. This drug is usually given to treat diarrhea caused by the side effects of antibiotics and infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
To take advantage of this diarrhea medicine, you can consume foods and drinks that contain probiotics, such as tempeh, natto, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt.
In addition, probiotics can also be available in supplements in the form of powders, capsules, or chewable tablets. Before taking probiotics as a diarrhea medicine, you can consult with your doctor first.
3. Activated carbon
Drugs containing activated carbon or activated charcoal are known to also help treat diarrhea. Activated carbon treats diarrhea by absorbing toxins that cause diarrhea and expelling them with feces.
This diarrhea medicine is available in capsule or powder form. Typical doses of activated carbon to treat diarrhea in adults range from 25–100 grams, or according to body weight. Before consuming activated carbon, make sure you consult with your doctor first.
4. Antidiarrheal drugs
If you have acute diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe antidiarrheal medications, such as loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate. Antidiarrheal drugs are only effective at relieving the symptoms of diarrhea, but they cannot treat the underlying cause.
The dose of loperamide for adults is generally started by taking 2 tablets directly. After that, it is continued by taking 1 tablet each time you have a bowel movement. The maximum consumption of loperamide is 6 tablets a day.
Meanwhile, the usual dose of bismuth subsalicylate for adults is 2 tablets every 1-2 hours. The maximum consumption of this drug is 16 tablets a day.
Most diarrhea is acute and caused by a virus so it does not require treatment using antibiotics. However, if the diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, you will need to take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.
The use of antibiotics as diarrhea medicine may be needed to treat some conditions such as the following:
– Severe and persistent diarrhea, or having persistent diarrhea
– Diarrhea in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with heart failure, lung disease, or HIV/AIDS
Antibiotics must be taken on time and spent in order to completely kill bacteria and not cause antibiotic resistance.