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Latest Drug Scare: Loperamide (Imodium)

Accepted submission by takyon at 2016-05-04 03:26:27

NPR is reporting on the latest drug scare [], involving an over-the-counter antidiarrheal drug that is being used for its opioid-like effects by addicts:

Some people addicted to oxycodone and other opioids are now turning to widely available diarrhea medications to manage their withdrawal symptoms or get high. The results can be dangerous to the heart — and sometimes fatal — warn toxicologists in a study [] (open, DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2016.03.047) recently published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The researchers describe two case studies where people who were addicted to opioids tried to ease their withdrawal symptoms by taking many times the recommended dose of loperamide [], a drug commonly used treat diarrhea. Both patients died.

"Because of its low cost, ease of accessibility and legal status, it's a drug that is very, very ripe for abuse," says lead author William Eggleston, a doctor of pharmacy and fellow in clinical toxicology at the Upstate New York Poison Center, which is affiliated with SUNY Upstate Medical University.


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