Compare Imodium vs. Maalox

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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(Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)

Treats diarrhea. One day is too many days to have diarrhea. Having Imodium (Loperamide) on hand to relieve your symptoms can be a life-saver.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating. It may not be as effective or last as long as alternative antacids though.
How it works
Imodium (Loperamide) is an antidiarrheal medicine. It's actually an opioid related to morphine, though it doesn't affect the brain like opioid pain medicines do. Instead, it works directly on muscles in your large intestine to stop contractions and increase the time it takes for stool to move through. The result is less diarrhea and more formed stool.Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) is a combination medicine for stomach trouble. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.
Type of medication
Available as
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Imodium (Loperamide)
of people say Imodium (Loperamide) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)
21% vs. Imodium (Loperamide)
34% vs. Imodium (Loperamide)
3% vs. Imodium (Loperamide)
Side effects

The Imodium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Imodium side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Maalox side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Maalox »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Allergy to loperamide
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Current liver problems
  • Taking HIV medicines
  • Active infectious colitis
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Imodium (Loperamide) risks & warnings »
  • Age 65 or older
    • Current kidney disease
      Detailed Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

      The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

      See the FDA package insert
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      No specific food-related info.
      • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
      • If you have kidney disease Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of aluminum or magnesium in your body. This is more likely if you have severe kidney disease (defined as a kidney function blood test called GFR of less than 30ml/min). If you have severe kidney disease or are on kidney dialysis don't use Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone); a different antacid would be better for you.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
      No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • Most people who take Imodium feel there's no hassle and it's definitely worth it!
      • Non-habit forming and available over-the-counter.
      • It comes in caplets, liquid, and chewable tablets so you can use it anywhere you need it.
      • Imodium is used for short-term, chronic and traveler's diarrhea. It's also used for people who have diarrhea caused by cancer or certain medicines that treat cancer.
      • Works really fast.
      • Available over the counter without a prescription.
      • Cheap.
      Downsides and risks
      • Imodium only treats your diarrhea symptoms. Diarrhea may be caused by a number of conditions and will need specific treatment that deals with the underlying issue.
      • Studies in people taking Imodium for chronic diarrhea showed if the maximum number of doses didn't relieve symptoms in 10 days, then it probably won't work for that condition. You can talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
      • Doesn't last very long.
      • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
      • Some people don't care for the taste.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      • Try to drink plenty of clear liquids. Having diarrhea can make you dehydrated.
      • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
      • Shake Imodium liquid well before using. Use dosing cup that comes with bottle to get the best dose.
      • Imodium lowers your ability to focus, think, and react. Avoid activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a car or operating machinery, until you know how this medication affects you.
      • Check with your baby doctor before using if you're breastfeeding.
      • Ask your doctor before taking Imodium if you have a fever, liver problems, mucus in your stool or are taking antibiotics.
      • Don't use if you have blood in your stool or it's dark or black in color.
      • Stop using Imodium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly or your symptoms get worse after 2 days. This could be serious.
      • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
      • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
      • Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or constipation.
      • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
      Learn more
      More about ImodiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert