Using Imodium Safely with an Ostomy: Seeking Advice


Hi all, I'm going to an informal college reunion of eight pals of mine in July. It's at the Vermont home of one of them. I'm already planning to bring my Hollister M9 ostomy odor-eliminating drops and praying that there's an exhaust fan in his bathroom. I don't want to not eat (oh, the irony that I had an eating disorder when I knew them way back when and wouldn't it be weird if they thought I still had one even though I've been eating heartily since that four-year nightmare) but I'm wondering how to tweak this. I thought of Imodium but, frankly, haven't used it in a long time, since before my ostomy when I was in the throes of UC. Can I use it safely with an ostomy? Is there any danger of causing an obstruction from such a slowdown of motility? Just planning ahead and any advice is much appreciated!



Hi there, I use it and take 32 tablets a day. However, do what feels right for you depending on your output!

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Hi Lori,

You got some time to experiment, so start with half a tablet twice a day and see how it goes. Try to eat the same things each day so the food choice isn't skewing the Imodium's effectiveness. As for the odor... my bowel isn't long enough for anything to ferment, so I can't relate... but others on here have discussed what foods reduce odor. Hopefully they can chime in and give you some recommendations.

As an aside, Imodium is ridiculously expensive and it's just Loperamide. Loperamide can be bought OTC for much much cheaper, especially if you look around. Just FYI.


Reply to LJB222

Ok, thanks, good to know. Does it just slow everything down, longer for the bag to fill? That sounds like a dream!

Reply to w30bob

Thanks, Bob, I'm heading out to buy sunscreen; I'll pick up loperamide, too, probably the CVS brand.

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Yes, it's okay to take. It's a fast-acting med and wears off quickly, so it won't clog you up for long. You could feel uncomfortable for a few hours if you take too many or don't really need them. I don't know if you're taking them with you just as a precaution in case needed or to try and slow down output while with your pals. If you are, I wouldn't take any more than 2 at a time and if you don't have loose output around 1 hour before eating.

Rose Bud 🌹

My ostomy doctor told me to use it 30 minutes before I ate to slow down my output; however, it didn't seem to work for me and it can make you a bit tired. But everyone is different. But YES, it's safe to use with an ileostomy (and you know me, I have tons of GI issues). Have fun on your trip!!!

Reply to LJB222

Hi, I have been taking loperamide/Norimode for 18 years. As provided by the NHS in the UK, on prescription at an average of 10 2 mg tablets per day. Have a word with your Stoma Nurse because I was told that anything more than 8 tablets a day at this strength is an overdose and your GP may need clarification from a Stoma Nurse. I was also told to use tablets rather than capsules as capsules may pass through into the bag without fully dissolving. Best of luck, Elwick.


I think what I have is the Target brand.. probably because I can do drive-up orders there with no minimum order amount (I feel like I am constantly picking up milk).

They (Target, Amazon, Walmart - I just know those 3 for sure do) have the travel-size Poo-Pourri. One of my nurses always stocked up on travel-size sprays from Bath & Body Works. I'm trying to think of things that will fit in a pocket...


Why use anything? Just be you. Everyone goes to the bathroom. Smile, enjoy, and if you let one go, simply explain it quick and move on. No need to hide it.


For years, I was taking one 2mg loperamide tablet with each meal, but now I just take two a day and they keep my output manageable. Interestingly, I used to be able to buy bottles of loperamide on Amazon, then the Food and Drug Administration began limiting the amount Americans could buy at one time because some people were using it as a narcotic.

Enjoy your visit with your friends.



Hi, I have a high output ileostomy and the hospital prescribed me loperamide / Imodium because fluids were going through so fast I was dehydrating constantly. I was on around 8 per day but was told up to 32 was safe. Things have settled recently so I only use them occasionally (e.g. if I'm getting on a plane or into a swimsuit and want to be sure I don't have to empty as soon as I take on fluids!

Reply to LJB222

Wow, 32 tablets a day. Does your doctor say that's okay?


I have a friend with ileostomy and she uses it several times per day. I also have an ileostomy and have used Imodium on occasion but I didn't find that it stopped me for very long. I don't know if I was taking it at the right time. If I should take before I eat or after I eat. Marshmallows will also hold off the output for a while. Be careful with the M9 drops. I no longer use them. I think there is a little bleach or something in them and a couple of times the drops leaked and actually bleached my clothing. I use Perfect Choice Super Strength deodorant. It's strong enough and is a little thick and doesn't leak out.

Good luck and enjoy yourself.

Bob 48

Since you have some time, you should give Metamucil powder mix. Yes, I know it's fiber, but it helps to slow and thicken my output a lot. Sometimes I'll use both Metamucil and loperamide together if I have a long day outside of the house.

Reply to annofsd

How is it a narcotic? I'm just wondering. I was surprised at how much the stoma nurses said was ok for me to take but with no colon I guess it makes a big difference

Reply to w30bob

For odor control, you can chew a Pepto-Bismol tablet, and you will have no poo odor. I do this all the time when going to other people's homes where I may have to use their restroom.


My doctor told me to stop using it because it is harmful to your kidneys. Thirty a day is just plain crazy.


There is a medication called Lomotil that I use to slow down the output of my ileostomy that works better than Imodium. You need a prescription for it. Having used both, I highly recommend the Lomotil. I find it especially useful for when I go to movies or concerts where I don't want to be running to the bathroom.



I have had a J-pouch and then an ileostomy so I have a shorter bowel, and left the hospital with a high output stoma and 12 Imodium capsules a day! Thankfully, that has calmed down and I only take them when needed. I think this is safe and sensible as a precaution when socializing. I doubt whether this could cause a blockage, and personally believe it is making sure that food is properly chewed that is more important than the food type.

Reply to Redondo

Hi Redondo, yes, of course. I have short gut syndrome so needs must!


I have high output and take Lomitol plus 2 Imodium tabs four times a day. I don't see a lot of slowdown but I think it's because I had several bowel resections prior to the ostomy. Not sure how much small intestine I actually have left but I'm afraid to stop as it may get way worse. So yes, Imodium is safe with an ostomy.

As for price, Imodium can be pricey. The best I've found is Costco pharmacy. They keep it behind the counter and you can buy up to three 24-tab boxes at a time for $9.99 each. I get three and my wife gets three every time we go.


Poo-Pourri is my go-to with my high output. They have small-sized sprays that are easy to take when you're out of your own home. I understand and share your anxiety!

Reply to Toby

Lomotil is the best, at least if you have insurance it's cost-effective. See if the doctor will prescribe a higher dosage for you to take so you get more medication per prescription. I have a colostomy, but my output is liquid and what goes in comes out within an hour, so when I'm home it's not a problem but when I have to go to appointments away from home for a few hours I now can just take 3 Lomotils and that can hold it off till I get home, providing I don't eat prior to leaving. I try to hold off until after the appointment, then have lunch and head home. That usually gives me about 4 hours of complete freedom!
Someone stated that everyone goes, yes that's true, but the odor is NOT as horrible as what comes out of a colostomy bag! It lingers in the air forever! Yes, it's embarrassing!


I have used a product called Devrom which is taken orally to reduce odors. You may want to look into it. I use it when I know I will be in a situation when I don't want to worry about odor, like while flying on a plane. It really works if you take one or two but I would not recommend taking them every day as I'm not sure about long-term use and impact on kidneys.


Hi, I can understand your concern on all fronts! I have a colostomy and often have to take Imodium, if I've had too much fiber, or if I know I'm going to be anxious about an event - I've never had a problem with it, it's just important to not overuse it, otherwise it's not as effective and you have to take more and more tabs. Maybe try it before July.

Ostomate & woundr
Reply to w30bob

Good job, Bobbers. From your friendly neighborhood ostomy nurse. Good job. I agree with all of your recommendations.


I also use 1 or 2 Devrom tablets when visiting somewhere. I don't use it except for those specific times, as I don't like taking meds. It eliminates any odor when emptying. I take 2 Imodium pills before each meal and 2 before bed daily. I also sometimes take Metamucil powder (very finely ground) before meals.

Ostomate & woundr
Reply to almelia

I also have a high output ileostomy and I experienced exactly the same phenomenon. I still swim and occasionally use a hot tub. Usually after very warm water immersion for about 30 minutes, I need a change. No leaks, seal around stoma still intact but outer edges very loose.

Ostomate & woundr
Reply to Bob 48

Not to be indelicate but the Metamucil packets poured into your bag also help gel your output and make it easier to manage. Much cheaper than other solidifiers.