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"Can Imodium trigger toxic megacolon in ulcerative colitis patients?"

ZocdocAnswersCan Imodium trigger toxic megacolon in ulcerative colitis patients?


I have had ulcerative colitis for several years and recently my doctor would not allow a refill for my corticosteroids. I did not have the funds to make an appointment, so to make the cramps tolerable I took an Imodium. Some people say it is fine, while others say it may trigger toxic megacolon. I have heard two sides to the story.


Ulcerative colitis is a serious condition. I would strongly recommend that you work with your doctor to develop a healthy and economically viable option to treat this. Ulcerative colitis is severe inflammation of the colon that is caused by the body attacking the colon. In general, there are many different ways to reduce the inflammation. Steroids are the best "anti-inflammatory" medicine, but have many side effects. Therefore, many doctors try to limit how much steroids they give and limit to only extreme symptoms. Other anti-inflammatories should be tried such as Asacol. To answer your question,YES, imodium can trigger megacolon. Imodium is an anti-molitity agent. This means that it stops the natural constricting motion of the colon. While this is helpful to people with diarrhea, this can cause problems if the colon is inflamed. The stopping of the motion can cause fecal matter to back up and therefore put pressure on the colon. Pressure on an inflamed colon can cause damage (as the inflamed colon is friable and weak) and therefore imodium can cause toxic megacolon and even rupture. This is rare, but a real possibility. Other options should be explored. Once monthly injections are available. In addition, surgery is often recommended for ulcerative colitis which could be helpful as a one time fix. Talk to your doctor. I would avoid imodium.

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