Twenty-five patients with chronic diarrhoea were included in an open, randomized crossover trial comparing the effect of loperamide with ispaghula and calcium. Nineteen patients completed both treatments. Before treatment the median number of daily stools was 7 (range, 4-13), stool consistency was loose in all, and urgency was present in 16 out of 19 patients. Both treatments halved stool frequency, but with regard to urgency and stool consistency ispaghula and calcium was significantly better. A combination of ispaghula and calcium seems to be a cheap and effective alternative to conventional treatment of chronic diarrhoea. Moreover, side effects were minimized.