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OTC Treatment for Diarrhea


When you have diarrhea, your bowel movements (stools) are loose and watery. It’s very common and although it feels bad, it's usually not serious.

It typically lasts two to three days, and if you need to treat it, there are over-the-counter medicines, which means they don't need a prescription.

For many people, diarrhea strikes once or twice each year. If you have certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, it can happen more often.

Symptoms
  • An urgent feeling that you need to have a bowel movement
  • Thin or loose stools
  • Watery stool
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating in your belly
  • Cramps

Causes
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Food poisoning 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Contaminated water
  • Allergies to certain foods
  • Diabetes
  • Diseases of the intestines (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Eating foods that upset the digestive system
  • Infection by bacteria (the cause of most types of food poisoning) or other organisms
  • Laxative abuse
  • Medications

OTC treatment
Over-the-counter medicines are medicines you can buy without a prescription from your doctor. Some OTC medicines can help you feel better if you have diarrhea. These are called antidiarrheal medicines.

Antidiarrheal medicines include loperamide  and bismuth subsalicylate. Bismuth subsalicylate can also be used for upset stomach and as an antiemetic (a medicine that treats nausea and vomiting).

ORS treatment

Dehydration resulting from diarrhea can be dangerous for very young children. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is a type of fluid replacement used to prevent or treat dehydration especially that due to diarrhea. It involves drinking water with modest amounts of sugar and salt added (an oral rehydration solution or ORS) while continuing to eat. Routine therapy also includes supplemental zinc.


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