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Diarrhea Medication Safe for Pregnancy: 4 Types You Can Use

Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Hello Sehat · Updated Jun 14, 2023

Diarrhea Medication Safe for Pregnancy: 4 Types You Can Use

Diarrhea is one of the digestive disorders that is often a complaint of pregnant women. Diarrhea during pregnancy needs to be treated immediately because of the risk of causing health problems for the mother and fetus. But is there diarrhea medication safe for pregnancy? Are there other ways to treat diarrhea in pregnant women at home? Find out more.

4 Types of Diarrhea Medication Safe for Pregnancy

diarrhea medication safe for pregnancy

Diarrhea in pregnant women can be caused by many things, ranging from hormonal changes, stress, changes in diet, to sensitivity to a food. The symptoms usually get better on their own within 2-3 days, although in some cases they can last longer.

If this is the case, you may need to take diarrhea medication safe for pregnancy as a way to deal with diarrhea or loose stools so that it doesn’t drag on. Diarrhea that is left for days can be a problem since it can lead to dehydration in pregnant women .

In addition, not all diarrhea medications in drugstores are safe for pregnant women. As always, before buying medicine, first consult with your doctor.

Some of the drugs that should not be taken to treat diarrhea or loose stools in pregnancy include bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). This is because it contains salicylate which can increase the risk of babies experiencing low birth weight (LBW) , bleeding, and stillbirth .

Here are some options for diarrhea drugs that are safe and have been recommended by doctors for pregnant women:

1. Loperamide

Loperamide (Imodium) is a drug that slows down bowel movements to produce denser stools during diarrhea. Therefore, you can use this drug as a way to address severe diarrhea in pregnant women.

To date, there are no studies that suggest loperamide can harm the mother and fetus during pregnancy . Therefore, doctors may be able to prescribe this diarrhea medicine for pregnant women.

Adults usually get this diarrhea medicine in the form of tablets to swallow, capsules, syrup, or chewable tablets.

Loperamide can cause side effects in the form of stomach pain, dry mouth , difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, to nausea and vomiting. Consult with your doctor first about the right dose for your condition.

2. Kaolin + pectin

Other drugs for diarrhea or loose stools that are safe for pregnant women are kaolin and pectin. Kaolin is a type of natural clay with adsorbent properties. On the other hand, pectin is a fiber that is found in many fruits that is used to create gels and jellies.

Just like loperamide, this medication is only given to pregnant women if the diarrhea is severe (passing more than 10 watery stools per day).

In addition to relieving symptoms, this diarrhea medication safe for pregnancy is also useful for preventing serious dehydration.

3. ORS or oral rehydration salts

ORS is one of the safe drugs to treat diarrhea in pregnant women. Oral rehydration salts contains electrolyte and mineral compounds such as sodium chloride, potassium chloride, anhydrous glucose, sodium bicarbonate, and trisodium citrate dihydrate.

The combination of these minerals serves to prevent and overcome dehydration due to body fluids lost during diarrhea.

After you drink it, the effect of ORS can be felt in about 8-12 hours. Some experts believe ORS works better to treat diarrhea than just drinking mineral water.

4. Antibiotics

If diarrhea has not disappeared after 3 days, pregnant women are advised to consult a doctor to find out the cause and the right medication.

Diarrhea is most likely due to a bacterial or parasitic infection. In this case, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics as diarrhea medication safe for pregnancy.

However, not all antibiotics are safe for pregnant women. Only a doctor can determine the right type and dose of antibiotics. Your doctor will also advise you on how long you should be taking the medication for.

Safe ways to deal with diarrhea in pregnant women other than drugs

diarrhea medication safe for pregnancy

Diarrhea is a disease that resolves on its own. This makes doctors usually suggest several things before prescribing drugs. Moreover, pregnant women also become more sensitive to drugs because the fetus is in the womb.

Usually, if after two days the condition has improved, pregnant women no longer need to take medicine for diarrhea.

After that, you can try ways to deal with diarrhea in other pregnant women, such as:

1. Drink enough water

Continuous urination can cause the body to lack a lot of fluids because it comes out with feces. Therefore, consuming fluids such as mineral water, electrolyte fluids, warm soup, or fruit juices can be a natural diarrhea remedy for pregnant women.

According tot he American Pregnancy Association , this method of dealing with diarrhea in pregnant women serves to help replenish the lost electrolyte fluid levels in the body.

2. Take supplements or probiotic foods

Probiotics are a type of good bacteria for the body so that they function to help kill bad bacteria that cause diarrhea that develop in the digestive tract. In addition, probiotics are also useful for restoring the balance of levels of good bacteria that live naturally in the stomach.

That is why, you can use probiotic foods as a natural remedy and a way to deal with diarrhea in pregnant women. According to a study published in the journal Canadian Family Physicians , probiotics in the form of food or supplements are safe to be a safe diarrhea medicine for pregnant women.

For example, pregnant women can consume probiotic foods such as yogurt and tempeh.

3. Obey the recommendations and dietary restrictions when diarrhea

It is important to pay attention to food for pregnant women. The right eating rules can be a way to deal with diarrhea in pregnant women.

The reason is, some pregnant women may become more sensitive to certain foods, causing diarrhea.

Avoiding certain types of food can be a powerful remedy for diarrhea or loose stools experienced by pregnant women.

Generally, foods to avoid during diarrhea are spicy, sour, fatty, and fried foods.

In addition, avoid types of food and drinks, such as:

  • carbonated drinks (sodas) and high in sugar,
  • dried fruit,
  • Red meat,
  • milk, as well
  • chocolates and sweets.

Instead of healing, these foods can actually make your condition worse. Instead, know what foods to eat during diarrhea .

Doctors may recommend a diet called the BRAT diet for a while.

This diet requires you to only eat bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast because they are easily digested by the digestive system.

After diarrhea improves, you can stop the BRAT diet because this diet is not able to meet the nutritional needs of pregnant women and fetuses.

4. Stop using certain drugs or supplements

Doctors may advise mothers to take certain medications or supplements that can cause allergic reactions or side effects such as diarrhea during pregnancy.

Therefore, you should stop taking these supplements first or replace them with safer ones.

Do not forget to still consult with your doctor first whether you need to change drugs or supplements while pregnant.

When should you go to the doctor?

The above method can be the main choice for overcoming and treating diarrhea in pregnant women. However, you should not forget to consult a doctor if you feel the symptoms are getting worse.

Severe diarrhea that can lead to dehydration requires hospitalization.

Severe dehydration can also lead to various complications in pregnancy. This can include lack of nutrition and oxygen for the developing fetus. If left untreated, this can even cause the fetus to die.

Here are some symptoms of dehydration that you need to watch out for:

  • concentrated urine,
  • dry mouth,
  • thirst,
  • decrease in the amount of urine, as well as
  • headache and dizziness.

When you are dehydrated, taking medicine for diarrhea or loose stools is no longer enough as a way to deal with diarrhea in pregnant women.

If you feel that you are dehydrated, you should immediately see a doctor to get proper treatment.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mary Rani Cadiz, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Hello Sehat · Updated Jun 14, 2023

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