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FDA Claims People are Overdosing on OTC Anti-Diarrhea Drugs

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Kaitlynn Martin1 year ago

In a recent bizarre manifestation in drug problems, deadly overdoses with common anti-diarrhea drugs are being investigated by federal health officials.

Overview of the Drug Problem

According to the Denver Post, the primary ingredient in these drugs is Imodium, it is intended to control diarrhea. Abusers are trying to achieve heroin-like highs by taking massive doses; up to 300 milligrams at once, with the recommended being 8-16 mg. per day.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning doctors and patients of the potentially deadly heart problems that can arise.

The FDA has received 31 reports of people hospitalized due to heart problems, with 10 deaths in 39 years.

Important Information on Overdosing

  • The national poison centers report a 71 percent increase in calls involving loperamide-containing drugs between 2011 and 2014, according to a journal article.
  • The authors have recommended restricting these over-the-counter sales of these drugs, just as you would other abused medications.
  • The reports of abuse are rising, among an epidemic of addiction and abuse that involve opioids.
  • It is known that in some cases opioid users will wean themselves off those drugs by substituting anti-diarrhea drugs.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, more than 47,000 drug overdoses were recorded in the U.S. Opioids count as 61 percent of that. 


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