Imodium (loperamide) is one over-the-counter diarrhea medication that can be abused together an opioid. This can lead to a dependency on Imodium and overdose.

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Imodium is one over-the-counter drug offered to act diarrhea.Some world abuse Imodium by taking high sheep to get high or wean turn off opioids.Although Imodium is well-tolerated at recommended doses, high sheep can cause serious side effects, consisting of heart problems.

An Overview

It deserve to be an overwhelming for human being to discover easy accessibility to opioid drugs. Together a result, some world misuse substances choose over-the-counter (OTC) commodities to either minimize withdrawal symptoms from opioids or achieve a euphoric sensation.

The intended overuse of Imodium (the brand name of loperamide) has actually become raising safety concern. The Food and also Drug administration (FDA) has issued warnings regarding its misuse potential and also the potentially fatal risks of misuse. Understanding how Imodium works and the risks of misuse is an essential to preventing potentially fatal outcomes.

What Is Imodium?

Imodium is an over-the-counter medication the is obtainable in a liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Its share form, loperamide, is classified together an anti-diarrheal medication that helps control non-infectious diarrhea, travelers’ diarrhea and also inflammatory bowel disease. By prescription, it additionally helps mitigate the amount of fluid in human being with ileostomies. However, the drug can also be abused, leading the FDA to need packaging adjustments in an effort to mitigate overdose risks.

Imodium Abuse

Imodium abuse is a direct result of the opioid epidemic. Once taken at an extremely high doses, the drug can develop effects the are similar to opioids. Loperamide abuse has become so pervasive and problematic the is being referred to as the “poor man’s methadone.”

Since that is readily accessible and inexpensive, a human may take almost everywhere from 50 to 400 pills in a work to accomplish a feeling of euphoria comparable to that of opioids. Unfortunately, law so can lead to overdose.

Self-Medicating come Treat Opioid Withdrawal

Although opioid tap the money symptoms can be treated through methadone and buprenorphine-based products, some human being take high doses of loperamide together a means to self-medicate and avoid symptom of opioid withdrawal. Quite than using loperamide come simulate an opioid high, a person may take it loperamide together a way to act a physical dependence on opioids. Unfortunately, making use of loperamide as a replacement for opioids requires an extremely high sheep of the drug, which have the right to lead come overdose.

Related: Imodium (Loperamide) Overdose Risk, Symptoms, and Treatment

Imodium Abuse Risks

Loperamide have the right to cross the blood-brain barrier, and also when take away in high doses, it can activate opioid receptors in the brain. As such, over there is a significant potential because that loperamide abuse. Along with that abuse potential come dangerous and sometimes fatal risks.

A loperamide overdose have the right to cause:

Heart attackArrhythmiaDysfunction that the kidney or liverSlowed or quit breathingUrinary retentionIntestinal dysfunction

There have actually been dozens the reported love problems associated with loperamide, and also that number is likely to spike significantly as a result of loperamide abuse and addiction. Signs that someone is enduring cardiac results related come loperamide abuse incorporate fainting, rarely often, rarely or fast heartbeat or unconsciousness.

FDA Intervention

As a result of widespread loperamide abuse in the united States, the FDA announced new restrictions on the drug’s packaging. Together of 2019, each crate of loperamide must have actually doses in separation, personal, instance blister packs and also must no contain an ext than 48 mg complete of loperamide.

Imodium Dependence and Addiction

Like other drugs that can cross the blood-brain obstacle in high doses, loperamide may result in dependence. Physical dependence occurs when your body becomes supplied to the existence of a drug, resulting in withdrawal symptom if friend suddenly prevent taking it.

Further, addiction may be feasible even despite loperamide is no a managed substance. Seeks occurs as soon as a person keeps acquisition a substance also though it is causing negative consequences like financial hardships, strained relationships and also mental or physical problems.

Ingredients in Imodium

The only active ingredient in Imodium is loperamide. Other brand name of loperamide include:

Imodium ADImotilKaopectate 1-DMaalox Anti-DiarrhealPepto Diarrhea Control.

Loperamide can likewise be discovered in combination with other OTC medications; for example, that is an unified with simethicone in Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief. To check out if loperamide is in a particular OTC product, testimonial the active ingredients ar on the label.

Loperamide must only be taken according to the authorized dosage. The maximum day-to-day dosage is 8 mg per day because that OTC use and also 16 mg every day for prescription use.

How does Imodium Work?

Imodium (loperamide) action by slowly the intestinal procedures of digestion and affecting water and electrolyte motion through the bowel. The does therefore by binding to the opioid receptor in the gut wall, called the mu receptor. The activation the mu receptors in the cradle system causes a slowing of the digestive processes. This effect is what allows loperamide to manage diarrhea; it also causes the typical opioid side result of constipation.

When taken in ~ recommended and safe doses, loperamide does no cross the blood-brain obstacle to impact mu receptor in the brain. This receptors are connected with the euphoric sensation led to by opioid substances. As soon as taken at doses of about 50 mg a day, however, loperamide deserve to reach mind mu receptors. There, it can create euphoria and may to decrease cravings and also withdrawal symptom of other substances.

Side impacts of loperamide use might include:


The threat for severe side impacts increases together the dosage of loperamide increases. The extremely high doses essential to overcome the blood-brain obstacle carry a far-reaching risk because that heart damage. Overdoses that loperamide varying from four to 100 times the recommended dose have actually resulted in life-threatening cardiac reactions, consisting of dangerous arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and also death.

Severe side results of loperamide that require instant medical attention include:

NauseaVomitingAbdominal painUncomfortable feeling of fullness in the abdomenNoticeable changes in heartbeatFaintingDifficulty breathingFeverBloody stools

How lengthy Does Imodium require to Work?

Loperamide will its greatest concentrations in the blood, or its optimal effect, 5 hours after ~ ingestion for capsules and 2.5 hrs after ingestion for liquid. This timeline is also true regarding symptoms that loperamide misuse, as the most severe symptoms room most likely to occur at the top concentration of the medicine.

How Is Imodium Abuse Diagnosed?

Significant proof links loperamide misuse come addiction. However, over there is at this time no details screening device to use in the diagnosis of loperamide misuse. Signs and also symptoms indicating feasible loperamide misuse coupled through a background of addiction space the only criteria that might help carry out a diagnosis that loperamide abuse. When suspected, a particular blood test deserve to be given to determine the concentration of loperamide in the blood.

It is important for people struggling through loperamide misuse or addiction to receive help and guidance indigenous trained professionals.

Imodium seeks Statistics

Between 2010 and also 2015, the national Poison Data mechanism showed a 91% boost in report intentional loperamide exposures. Data following the FDA’s new packaging needs for loperamide is no yet available.

Regardless, given ongoing reports the loperamide abuse, that is critical for caregivers and health treatment providers to remain vigilant for indicators of loperamide misuse. This will permit someone to intervene throughout the early on stages that addiction and also prevent perhaps fatal outcomes.

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Find the assist You Need

If you or who you love struggles with loperamide misuse, it deserve to be basic to shed hope. However, assist is accessible at The recovery Village. Call us this particular day to learn about loperamide addiction treatment programs that have the right to work well for her situation.