Imodium A-D Works Like Heroin & Morphine, Becoming Cheapest Alternative For Addicts
With the stringent regulation of popular narcotics such as opioids, a few individuals with drug addiction problems are now resorting to cheaper and easier-to-get alternatives: Imodium.Advertisement
Imodium A-D, with generic name Loperamide, is a common over-the-counter medication for upset stomach. But according to a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, individuals who are doing self-treatment for opioid addiction are abusing the diarrhea drug.
William Eggleston, PharmD, from the Upstate New York Poison Center, in a statement published by the American College of Emergency Physicians, said that loperamide’s accessibility and affordability are among the reasons the medicine is prone to abuse. He added the fact that people who use the medicine are not stigmatized, which adds to the growing concern.
“People looking for either self-treatment of withdrawal symptoms or euphoria are overdosing on loperamide with sometimes deadly consequences. Loperamide is safe in therapeutic doses, but extremely dangerous in high doses,” Eggleston said.
The study centers on two separate case studies of patients with opioid addiction who tried to treat their addiction by taking excessive doses of loperamide. The study shows that both patients exhibit serious cardiopulmonary failures before they died.
Although loperamide remains effective and safe in treating diarrhea when taken in proper doses, it can have fatal effects when taken in massive doses, especially with other medications. The report noted that individuals took loperamide in treating their opioid abuse issue and for euphoric properties.
“Our nation’s growing population of opioid-addicted patients are seeking alternative drug sources with prescription opioid medication abuse being limited by new legislation and regulations,” Eggleston added.
Eggleston also encouraged healthcare professionals to be aware of potential risks of over-the-counter medication, including loperamide. He added that the study only confirms that even non-prescription drugs could pose a potential health risk if not used as directed.