Diarrhea is a serious medical condition that needs to be tackled with drugs for purging most times since it is characterized by frequent visits to the toilet to pass watery and loose stool. It is considered a dangerous condition because it makes an affected individual get dehydrated fast. In fact, it is more dangerous in children than it is in adults.
Drugs for purging, as the symptom of diarrhea is commonly referred to in Nigeria, is available over the counter in many drug stores across the country. They help to keep the affected individual from visiting the toilet to pass the watery stool as often as they would, thereby helping them conserve moisture in their cells and the body as a whole.
After reading this article, you will have known the medication to ask for in pharmacies and drug stores when you are suffering from this condition. Also, you will be able to help yourself maintain a good level of hydration before you can reach a doctor for better treatment.
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a condition where an individual passes watery and loose stool frequently through out the day. It may last one or more days and often goes away on its own without treatment. However, when it last for a week or more, it is considered to be chronic.
It is quite common for people to have watery stool after exposure to certain pathogens they do not even know. In Nigeria, we refer to this condition as purging – a condition where you empty all the content of your stomach through frequent watery stool passing.
Diarrhea is said to be chronic when it has lasted for more than a couple of days, say two to three days. However, if this condition takes place for about two days, it is said to be acute. Regardless of whether it is acute or chronic, one thing important when suffering from diarrhea, keep yourself hydrated.
Causes of Diarrhea
There are a host of things that can cause an individual to experience diarrhea. They include:
Pathogens such as viruses and bacteria are common causes of diarrhea. In fact, it is the cause what is called traveler’s diarrhea, a condition where an individual who travels to another country – usually a developing country consumes a contaminated food or water and develops diarrhea. Travellers sometimes get cholera too.
Salmonella and E. coli are common bacteria that cause diarrhea. Rotavirus is a virus that causes diarrhea too.
Sometimes eating foods that contain materials that you are allergic to may cause an upset in your gut, leading to diarrhea. This case is usually an acute diarrhea, and food allergy treatment may help assuage the diarrhea
Reaction to medication
Some medications have their side effects as diarrhea. If you are currently using any drug, check the leaflet that come with it to see if it is the cause of your diarrhea.
Intolerance to certain types of food, such as lactose-containing foods may cause diarrhea.
Stomach or gallbladder surgery
If you have undergone a surgical procedure on your gallbladder or stomach recently, it may disrupt the normal action of the stomach and intestines, making your stool not get processed well. It will correct itself gradually.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms, accompanying the frequent visit to the toilet to pass watery stool. Sometimes you may not feel any of them at all.
- Abdominal pain
- Blood-stained stool
Drugs for Purging (Treatment of Diarrhea)
Bismarex is one of the drugs for purging that effectively helps to treat acute cases of diarrhea. It is also used to treat heartburn, stomach upset, and nausea. Despite its effectiveness, it is not advisable to use this medication if you experience fever as a symptom while passing watery stool. Also, do not use it if your stool is blood-stained.
This is because it is also used to treat stomach ulcers and may cause bleeding in the stomach of used without a doctor’s instruction in the cases highlighted above.
It is available as a chewable tablet and as a liquid. Follow the instructions on the medication leaflet and do not use more than the prescribed dosage.
Bismatrol, another one from the list of drugs for purging in Nigeria, is a chewable tablet that contains bismuth subsalicylate. It is used to treat many conditions, ranging from upset stomach to diarrhea. It is also helpful in relieving heartburn, and indigestion.
It is important to note that despite its availability over the counter, it is not suitable for use in children that have recently had chicken pox or flu symptoms. It should also be avoided if you have ulcer or blood-stained stool.
It should be taken every 1 or 2 hours in adults and children that are 12 years or older. However, for children below 12 years old, consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage. In either case, ensure that the affected individual is well hydrated.
Kaopectate is used to treat mild diarrhea. Like other drugs for purging, it also treats heartburn, nausea, and stomach upset. It should be avoided if you have blood in your stool, feel feverish, or have mucus in your stool.
In these cases, it is best to consult your doctor for the best medication, to avoid complications.
Kaopectate is available as a chewable tablet and suspension. Shake the bottle vigorously if you want to use the suspension, and do not exceed more than 8 doses in the space of 24 hours for adults and children above 12 years old. For children lesser than 12 years old, consult a doctor.
Imodium is specifically made to tackle the disruption in the natural rhythm of stool expulsion from the body. It helps to restore this natural rhythm as a drug for purging, and effectively treats diarrhea. It is also used to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
It contains Loperamide Hydrochloride, and it is available in capsules and instant – that dissolved easily in the mouth. It is available over the counter and follows the same dosage as other drugs for purging.
If you’re in search of a drug that treats diarrhea exclusively, you should choose Loperamide. It is a drug for purging that works by calming your stomach muscles down, thereby making food movement, and consequently, bowel movement slower and in a better rhythm. It is used for people who have just had stomach surgery, to make bowel movement slower and easier for them.
Despite its mild action, it can be dangerous to overdose on Loperamide as it can cause heart issues that may lead to death. It is not suitable for children less than 2 years old and should be used strictly as prescribed by the doctor.
Do not use if you have bloody stool, have ulcer, or high fever.
Probably the most common drug for purging in Nigeria, Flagyl. While some other drugs that treat diarrhea cannot be used if it is caused by a bacterial infection, Flagyl excellently suits this purpose. However, it is ineffective in diarrheal conditions caused by viruses.
It is preferable to use this medication with food to avoid stomach upset. Also, ensure that you use one tablet at intervals throughout the day till you reach the prescribed dosage.
Other drugs for purging in Nigeria include:
- Anti-Diarrheal Solution
Diarrhea is a serious condition that should be taken as seriously as they are. Some of the medication mentioned in this article are available over the counter. When you feel the symptoms of diarrhea, get one of them and ask the pharmacist on duty for dosage directions.
Ensure that you follow the prescription and consume adequate amount of water. However, if your stool contains blood, mucus, or you feel feverish, explain to the pharmacist or consult a doctor for a better recommendation.