Lomotil (diphenoxylate/atropine) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat diarrhea in adults and certain children. The drug comes as an oral tablet. The typical starting dosage is two tablets taken four times per day.

Lomotil contains two active ingredients: diphenoxylate and atropine. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Lomotil belongs to a group of drugs called antidiarrheals. This article describes the dosages of Lomotil, as well as its strength and how to take it. To learn more about Lomotil, see this in-depth article.

This section describes the usual dosages of Lomotil. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Lomotil’s form?

Lomotil comes as an oral tablet.

What strength does Lomotil come in?

Lomotil is available in one strength of 2.5 milligrams (mg) diphenoxylate hydrochloride/0.025 mg atropine sulfate.

What are the usual dosages of Lomotil?

You’ll typically start with a higher dose of Lomotil to quickly reduce your symptoms and to help your stools become more firm. Then as your symptoms are eased, your dosage will be lowered to continue treating your symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s best for you.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for diarrhea

The typical starting dosage of Lomotil for adults is two tablets taken four times per day. You should not take more than eight tablets (20 mg of diphenoxylate) per day.

In most cases, symptoms start to improve within 48 hours. After this, your doctor will likely lower your dosage based on how much your diarrhea symptoms have been eased. Your dosage may be as low as two tablets per day.

If your symptoms don’t improve after 10 days of taking Lomotil, your doctor will likely have you stop taking it and will discuss other treatment options with you.

What’s the dosage of Lomotil for children?

Lomotil is used to treat diarrhea in children ages 13 years and older.

The dosage used in children is the same as the dosage for adults. To learn more, see the “What are the usual dosages of Lomotil?” section above.

For more information about Lomotil’s dosage for children, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist.

Is Lomotil used long term?

No, Lomotil is typically used short term to treat diarrhea. It’s not recommended for long-term use. If your diarrhea doesn’t go away after taking Lomotil for 10 days, talk with your doctor. They can discuss other treatment options with you.

Dosage adjustments

Dosage adjustments for Lomotil may be needed in certain situations. Examples include:

Tell your doctor if you have severe liver or kidney disease. Lomotil may not be safe for you to take.

The dosage of Lomotil you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of your symptoms
  • other medications you take
  • other conditions you may have (see the “Dosage adjustments” section above for details)
  • how your body responds to Lomotil
  • your age

If you have questions about your dosage, talk with your doctor.

Lomotil comes as an oral tablet. You can take the drug with or without food.

The manufacturer of Lomotil doesn’t provide information on whether you can cut, crush, or chew the tablets. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You may be able to take a liquid version of Lomotil, which is available in a generic.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Lomotil, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

Let your pharmacist know if you have trouble opening medication bottles. They may have tips to help, or they may be able to supply Lomotil in an easy-open container.

If you miss a dose of Lomotil, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its usual time. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Lomotil on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more Lomotil than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

In severe cases, Lomotil overdose can lead to coma.

What to do in case you take too much Lomotil

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Lomotil. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you have certain symptoms of overdose, such as respiratory depression, you may be given a medication called naloxone (Narcan).

Taking a recommended dosage of Lomotil as prescribed by your doctor doesn’t cause dependence or withdrawal. However, taking Lomotil in high doses long term can lead to physical dependence. With physical dependence, your body needs a drug to function as usual.

If you suddenly stop taking Lomotil after taking high doses for a long time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms (side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on).

Examples of withdrawal symptoms include:

It’s important to take Lomotil exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You should not take higher doses than your doctor recommends. This can lead to serious side effects, overdose, physical dependence, or addiction. With addiction, a drug is used even if it’s causing harmful outcomes.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Lomotil’s dosage.

How long does it take for Lomotil to start working?

How long it takes Lomotil to start working depends on how severe your diarrhea is and how your body responds to the drug. Most people see symptom relief within 48 hours after starting Lomotil. This means you should have fewer loose stools and more formed stools.

If your symptoms don’t improve after taking Lomotil for 10 days, your doctor will likely have you stop taking the drug. They can discuss other treatment options with you.

If you have other questions about what to expect from your Lomotil treatment, talk with your doctor.

Is it recommended to take my dose of Lomotil before or after food?

Lomotil isn’t affected by food, so you can take a dose either before or after eating. But taking Lomotil with food may help settle your stomach. You can also take Lomotil with a glass of water. It’s important to stay hydrated when you have diarrhea to prevent dehydration.

If you have questions about the best way to take Lomotil, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Lomotil for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Lomotil without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Lomotil exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Can I start with a lower dosage of Lomotil if my symptoms are mild?
  • How does Lomotil’s dosage compare with that of loperamide (Imodium)?
  • Will you adjust my Lomotil dosage if I’m taking other medications with it?

To learn more about Lomotil, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.