Frequently asked questions

Find answers to your questions about diarrhoea and the Gastro-Stop range.

Find answers to your questions about diarrhoea and the Gastro-Stop range.

About Diarrhoea

What causes diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea can be caused by a range of things:

Acute diarrhoea (that’s a bout of diarrhoea that usually starts suddenly causing 3 or more loose stools per day and lasts less than 2 weeks) is mostly commonly caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

Diarrhoea can also be caused by other things such as anxiety and stress, drinking too much alcohol or taking certain medications (for example, antibiotics or antacids that contain magnesium).

When diarrhoea lasts for 4 weeks or more it’s called chronic diarrhoea and is typically a result of an ongoing condition affecting the intestines — such as coeliac disease, medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance.

Do I need to treat diarrhoea?

Short-lived (acute) diarrhoea usually only lasts one or two days and medications, such as Gastro-Stop and Gastro-Stop PLUS, can be used when you need symptom relief so you can get back to your normal daily activities.

If your diarrhoea symptoms persist for longer than 48 hours you should seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist. You should contact you doctor immediately if:

  • You have blood or pus in your stools
  • You have painful passing of stools
  • You are vomiting all the time and can’t keep any fluids down
  • You are only passing small amounts or no urine
  • You have a fever (more than 38ºC).

Diarrhoea can be a serious problem in babies and young children or if you have a serious chronic medical condition such as kidney failure – and it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible when it occurs.

What is the difference between acute and chronic diarrhoea?

Acute (short-lived) diarrhoea lasts less than 2 weeks, usually clears up after a day or two and is commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Chronic (ongoing) diarrhoea, on the other hand, lasts for at least 4 weeks, and can be caused by a wide variety of health conditions such as medically diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

When I get diarrhoea with cramps and bloating, what should I take?

Gastro-Stop PLUS has a dual-action formula designed to effectively relieve diarrhoea plus associated abdominal cramps, bloating and wind

How does exposure to contaminated water increase my risk of diarrhoea?

Drinking or being exposed to untreated water (particularly when overseas), can increase the risk of getting diarrhoea.

When sanitation or hygiene standards are poor the germs that cause diarrhoea can contaminate water and may cause you problems – this includes the water you drink, brush your teeth in and even the ice-cubes in your drink!

What should I drink when I have diarrhoea?

When you have diarrhoea, it is important to drink plenty of water to make sure you keep hydrated.

Oral rehydration drinks sold in supermarkets and pharmacies can help replace any lost salts, minerals and electrolytes – alternatively, you could use diluted unsweetened fruit juice.

What should I eat when I have diarrhoea?

You may find that temporary changes to your diet are beneficial when you get diarrhoea.

You may find eating more starchy foods (such as rice, potatoes and bread) and those that are rich in energy and micronutrients (such as eggs, vegetables and grains) can help. Yoghurt containing live cultures can also help. Try to avoid alcohol and eat less fatty, sweet or spicy foods.

What is traveller’s diarrhoea and how do I prevent it?

Traveller’s diarrhoea is usually caused by bacterial infections from contaminated food or water and is more common when we visit places in areas where sanitation and food hygiene are poor.

The simplest way to try to avoid traveller’s diarrhoea is to practice good hygiene and take some basic precautions when eating and drinking when you are away from home.

For example, do not drink water if you are unsure of its quality and try to avoid high-risk foods (such as undercooked or raw meats and seafood, raw or peeled fruit and salads).

Why do I get diarrhoea when I am nervous?

Emotional stress can affect how quickly food moves through your body and people can get either diarrhoea or constipation.

How long does diarrhoea last?

Most cases of short-lived (acute) diarrhoea will resolve themselves within a day or two.

Sometimes you can’t stop your day when you have diarrhoea and that is when GASTRO-STOP can help. You can get effective relief from diarrhoea with GASTRO-STOP capsules and GASTRO-STOP PLUS chewable tablets. GASTRO-STOP PLUS shortens the duration of diarrhoea by up to 75%*.

If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

If you have a serious chronic medical condition or if your young child or baby develops diarrhoea, seek expert medical advice immediately.

Why do I get diarrhoea when I have my period?

Menstrual periods can be associated with digestive problems such as diarrhoea and constipation. Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea) can occur both during and prior to the onset of menstrual periods.

Can stress and anxiety cause diarrhoea?

Yes, diarrhoea can be caused by a range of things including emotional stress and anxiety.

What are the foods to avoid when you have diarrhoea?

Where possible, you should try to eat a normal diet – but it may be best to avoid drinking alcohol and eating fatty, sweet or spicy foods to give your body time to recover.

About Gastro-Stop

What is the difference between Gastro-Stop and Gastro-Stop PLUS?

Gastro-Stop’s active ingredient, loperamide, works locally on the digestive system by slowing down the movement of the intestines to provide relief from short-lived (acute) diarrhoea.

Gastro-Stop PLUS contains two active ingredients (loperamide and simethicone). Loperamide works locally on the digestive system by slowing down the movement of the intestines to provide relief from short-lived (acute) diarrhoea. Simethicone helps to release gas bubbles to provide relief from the associated gas-related symptoms such as bloating, cramps and wind.

Do I need a prescription for Gastro-Stop or Gastro-Stop PLUS?

No, you do not need a prescription for Gastro-Stop or Gastro-Stop PLUS. They are both available at your local pharmacy and Woolworths – just click on ‘Where To Buy’ button above to find your nearest retailer.

Can Gastro-Stop cause constipation?

It is possible that Gastro-Stop may cause constipation in some patients. Do not take if you have a medical condition where constipation should be avoided. If suffering from constipation, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist as they will provide the appropriate advice.

Can you take Gastro-Stop when pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking Gastro-Stop or Gastro -Stop PLUS.

Can you give Gastro-Stop to a child?

Only adults and children OVER 12 years of age should use Gastro-Stop capsules or Gastro-Stop PLUS tablets.

When should I see my doctor about my diarrhoea?
You should talk to your doctor as soon as possible if:

  • You have a serious chronic medical condition
  • Your symptoms persist longer than 48 hours.

You should see your doctor immediately if you are experiencing other symptoms including:

  • Blood or pus in your stools
  • Painful passing of stools
  • You’re vomiting all the time and can’t keep any fluids down
  • You’re only passing small amounts or no urine
  • You have a fever (more than 38oC).
How many Gastro-Stop tablets or capsules can I take in 24 hours?

Gastro-Stop capsules:

Take 2 capsules with water initially, then take 1 capsule with water after each loose stool, as needed.

You should NOT take more than 8 Gastro-Stop capsules a day (24-hour period).

Gastro-Stop PLUS chewable tablets:

Chew 2 tablets initially, followed by 1 table after each loose stool, as needed.

You should NOT take more than 4 Gastro-Stop PLUS tablets a day (24-hour period).

Can I take Gastro-Stop if I have medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

If you have IBS or any other ongoing (chronic) condition affecting the bowel, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using Gastro-Stop or Gastro-Stop PLUS.

Can I take Gastro-Stop with an oral rehydrating solution such as Hydralyte®?

Yes, you can take an oral rehydrating solution with Gastro-Stop, but the oral rehydrating solution is usually designed to help with replacing lost fluids and may not help relieve symptoms of diarrhoea.

How long can I take Gastro-Stop for before I should see my doctor?

You should see your doctor if your symptoms persist for 48 hours after using either Gastro-Stop or Gastro-Stop PLUS.