Action: Antidiarrheals work by various actions, including direct action on intestinal muscles to decrease GI peristalsis; by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis responsible for GI hypermotility; by acting on mucosal receptors responsible for peristalsis; or by decreasing water content of stools.
Uses: Antidiarrheals are used for diarrhea of undetermined causes.
Side effects / Adverse reactions: The most serious adverse reactions of some products are paralytic ileus, toxic megacolon, and angioneurotic edema. The most common side effects are constipation, dry mouth, and abdominal pain.
Contraindications: Persons with severe ulcerative colitis, pseudomembranous colitis with some products.
Precautions: Antidiarrheal shoul be used with caution in the elderly, pregnancy, lactation, children, dehydration.
Interactions: Please check individual monographs, since interactions vary widely among products.
Possible nursing diagnoses:
» Diarrhea [uses]
» Constipation [adverse reactions]
» Fluid volume deficit [adverse reactions]
» Knowledge deficit [teaching]
» Electrolytes (K, Na, Cl) if on long-term therapy
» Bowel pattern before; for rebound constipation adter termination of medication
» Response after 48 hours; if no response, drug should be discontinued
» Dehydration in children
» For 48 hours only
» Therapeutic response: decreased diarrhea
» To avoid OTC products
» Not to exceed recommended dose
Selected Generic Names