Compare Imodium vs. Tums

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

Imodium
(Loperamide)

Tums
(Calcium carbonate)

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. Tums (Calcium carbonate) gives quick relief for heartburn, but does not last all day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other medicines if you need additional relief.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.75Imodium
Reviews for Imodium
89%
of people (All ages) say Imodium is worth it
65%
say it works well
6%
say it's a big hassle
285 reviews
Have you used Imodium (Loperamide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tums
82%
+7% better vs. Imodium
43%
+22% better vs. Imodium
5%
-1% worse vs. Imodium
1373 reviews
Have you used Tums (Calcium carbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ImodiumTums
  • Constipation 2%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Abdominal cramp 3%
More Imodium side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Tums »
How it works
ImodiumTums
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.Tums (Calcium carbonate) is an antacid. It relieves heartburn and indigestion by neutralizing stomach acid.
Type of medication
ImodiumTums
Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableOver-the-counterLower-cost generic available
Available as
ImodiumTums
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ImodiumTums
Risk factors for serious side effects
ImodiumTums
  • Allergy to loperamide
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Current liver problems
  • Taking HIV medicines
Detailed Imodium (Loperamide) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy

    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.

    Kidneys and liver
    ImodiumTums
    • Ask your doctor before taking Imodium if you have a fever, liver problems, mucus in your stool or are taking antibiotics.
    • May increase calcium levels too much in people with kidney or thyroid conditions.
    Pain
    ImodiumTums
    • Do not use if you have diarrhea with a high fever, blood in your stool, pain, swelling or bulging in your belly. People taking HIV medicine together with Imodium (Loperamide) can have a serious intestinal problem called toxic megacolon. Call your doctor or get medical care right away if you develop these symptoms or your diarrhea gets worse after 2 days.
    No pain related info.
    Weight
    ImodiumTums
    • 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 weight related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    ImodiumTums
    • 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.
    • Tums (Calcium carbonate) is an effective, first-line medication for hearburn.
    • Tums (Calcium carbonate) starts working in seconds.
    • Has minimal side effects.
    • Available in chewable form.
    • Is inexpensive and readily available over-the-counter.
    • Coupons are available – speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
    Downsides and risks
    ImodiumTums
    • 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.
    • Because Tums (Calcium carbonate) only lasts for 1 to 2 hours, you may need additional doses.
    • May increase calcium levels too much in people with kidney or thyroid conditions.
    • May have a chalky taste.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ImodiumTums
    • 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 at the first sign of discomfort.
    • You may need to separate Tums (Calcium carbonate) from some medicines to avoid interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you're taking, including prescription, supplements, and over the counter medicines.
    • Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help alleviate some symptoms of heartburn.
    • Certain spicy or fatty foods increase your risk of heartburn. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out which foods you should avoid.
    • Avoiding eating 3 hours before bedtime can also help prevent heartburn.
    • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
    Learn more
    More about ImodiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Imodium (Loperamide)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about TumsSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Tums (Calcium carbonate)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it