If diarrhea lasts more than six hours in children over age 12 or in adults, over-the-counter medications are sometimes useful in stopping it, according to WebMD. Most individuals should increase their fluid intakes when experiencing diarrhea to reduce the chances of dehydration.
The three types of nonprescription medications available for diarrhea include thickening mixtures, antispasmodics and probiotics, indicates WebMD. Thickening medications use fiber, such as psyllium, to absorb water from the intestines and thicken the stool. Antispasmodics include Immodium A-D and Pepto Diarrhea Control and reduce intestinal spasms that contribute to diarrhea. Probiotics restore the helpful bacteria to the intestines.
With the exception of people who must limit fluid intake due to medical conditions such as kidney or heart disease, when a person begins having diarrhea, he should increase his fluid intake by 1 quart per hour until the symptoms subside. When experiencing large amounts of diarrhea, he should increase the fluid intake more, reports WebMD.
In children, most mild cases of diarrhea get better within a few days, according to KidsHealth. Parents should ensure the child remains hydrated using oral rehydration solutions. The child should continue eating his normal diet. Children should not be receive water alone for rehydration, as it does not contain adequate amounts of minerals and nutrients.