Loperamide Addiction: Why Do Some People Get Hooked On The Anti
According to a 2017 article published byAnnals of Emergency Medicine, abuse of loperamide, an anti-diarrheal medication available under the brand name Imodium, is increasing in the United States. Between 2010 and 2015, reports to the National Poison Data System of intentional misuse, abuse, and loperamide-related suicide increased by 91%. Loperamide is safe at low doses, but loperamide addiction can have catastrophic effects on your health. Hereâs what you need to know about Imodium addiction.
Imodium Uses Withdrawal Dependence & Addiction
UPDATE The Waismann Method currently does not perform detox treatments for Imodium .
Imodium abuse has emerged as a significant problem among people attempting to undergo withdrawal from opiates. In the United States, an estimated 2.1 million people are addicted to prescription painkillers, with another 467,000 addicted to heroin, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse. One of the biggest barriers to overcoming addiction is making it through the tough withdrawal process.
Withdrawal from opiates is associated with diarrhea, nausea, aching muscles, runny nose, chills, sweats, and powerful cravings. Taking Imodium , an over-the-counter drug, can ease these symptoms. Unfortunately, people trying to go through opiate withdrawal soon find themselves dependent on Imodium / Loperamide, taking 100 pills or more each day.
Springboard Recovery Can Help People Who Are Addicted To Imodium
At SpringBoard Recovery, we have worked with people with all types of addictions, including Imodium/loperamide. We know how challenging recovery can be, and we aim to make it as easy as possible through professional treatment that has proven to be effective.
The first step is to go through drug detox. Even though we do not offer detoxification services at our facility, we recognize that this step should not be skipped. We offer detox referrals to area programs that we have known and worked with in the past. Clients will get the help they need for their withdrawal symptoms during detox. Afterward, they will be ready to move on to rehab.
Drug rehab at SpringBoard Recovery is offered on an outpatient basis. Our intensive outpatient program offers a flexible option that many of our clients appreciate. They can come to treatment during the evening and continue to work, go to school or take care of other responsibilities during the day. Our IOP generally requires attendance at appointments 3-5 times per week.
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How Long Does Imodium Take To Work
Loperamide reaches its highest concentrations in the blood, or its peak effect, five hours after ingestion for capsules and 2.5 hours after ingestion for liquid. This timeline is also true regarding symptoms of loperamide misuse, as the most severe symptoms are most likely to occur at the peak concentration of the medicine.
Imodium Addiction: Can It Be Abused
The idea of Imodium addiction may sound strange, but it is very real. Imodium abuse is possible, and why it is possible comes down to how the medication acts on the body. When loperamide HCI hits the stomach, it binds to the opioid receptors located there. When taken in normal amounts, all it does is slow down the processes of the digestive tract, allowing the body to take water out of the intestines, making the stool more solid. When taken in large amounts, the medicine can pass the blood-brain barrier and cause the user to experience relaxed sensations.
However, abuse of the medication is also accompanied by several adverse consequences, including severe side effects, overdose, and even death from Loperamide. To avoid this be sure to consult with a doctor or strictly follow the Imodium directions given on the leaflet inside the packaging. In some cases, a person can not understand that he or she abuses loperamide until the symptoms appear. Thats why following the Imodium directions on the label or doctors instructions is critical to avoid unintentional abuse.
If the patient thinks that the medicine does not work, it is required to get medical consultation first, but not to increase the dose by themselves.
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What Is Loperamide : Effects Signs Symptoms & How To Use It
Loperamide is a medication used to treat diarrhea. The brand name is Imodium. It is taken orally.
Loperamide is used over the counter because it does not have psychological effects at normal doses.
Loperamide can be used for the following conditions:
Loperamide is not to be used for bloody diarrhea, bacterial enterocolitis , liver failure, HIV, and acute worsening ulcerative colitis. Not recommended during pregnancy or nursing.
Imodium / Loperamide Uses And Facts
Imodium / Loperamide is an opioid receptor agonist, meaning that it binds to and stimulates opioid receptors. The drug primarily works on receptors in the gastrointestinal system, where it decreases activity of the smooth muscle of the intestine. This allows more water to be drawn out of the contents of the intestine, making Imodium an effective anti-diarrheal medication.
When taken as recommended, Imodium / Loperamide primarily affects the intestines and is not habit forming. However, small amounts of the active ingredients do have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. Once there, it can act on opioid receptors in the brain, similar to the ways in which prescription painkillers or heroin act.
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What Are The Dangers Of Loperamide Abuse
Ask the Expert Question: What are the dangers of loperamide abuse?
Answer: Loperamide is a µ-opioid receptor agonist that is available over-the-counter as an anti-diarrheal. Initially placed in Schedule V of the US Controlled Substances Act in 1977, loperamide was taken off schedule and made available without a prescription in 1982 due to its low risk of physical dependence.1 Loperamide has poor oral bioavailability, extensive first-pass metabolism via cytochrome P450 3A4 and 2C8, and does not penetrate the blood-brain barrier, most likely due to P-glycoprotein efflux transporters.2 At recommended doses , loperamide is considered safe and effective. Production of opiate-like effects are rare and loperamide is considered to have low abuse potential.3-5 However, at higher than recommended doses, it may cause central nervous system effects and doses of up to 50 to 300 mg may induce euphoria.6
Get Help From Asheville Recovery Center And Treat Your Imodium Addiction
The dangers of loperamide abuse are clear. All drugs can be dangerous if theyre not used as intended. If you or a loved one is struggling with Imodium addiction, you need to get help from an addiction treatment professional. Whether loperamide is your drug of choice or you use it in addition to other opioids, you can develop a healthier lifestyle. Contact Asheville Recovery Center today and learn about our treatment options. We offer a variety of interventions that can help you to get through the time of your life and achieve sobriety. Regardless of how long youve been misusing Imodium or another drug, you can recover.
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How Imodium Is Used To Manage Opiate Withdrawal
People have reported that high doses of Imodium have managed other withdrawal symptoms in addition to diarrhea. No scientific studies, however, have shown it can relieve pain. Doses of 60 milligrams or higher can trigger nausea and vomiting. Some have claimed euphoric effects from such doses as well.
While this hasnt been clinically verified, an overdose of Imodium is possible and can lead to the following effects:
- Urinary retention
More serious symptoms include a skin rash and/or hives, itching, and wheezing or difficulty breathing. One should seek medical attention right away if any of these occur.
In humans, Imodium hasnt been proven to prevent other withdrawal effects. The U.S. National Library of Medicine , however, studied monkeys that were dependent on morphine. High doses of loperamide hydrochloride seemed to prevent signs of withdrawal. Clinical studies also found low abuse potential for the medication, although there are profound implications with overdose.
What Is Imodium Addiction Loperamide Abuse And Addiction Signs
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
Imodium is a medication available throughout the United States. The drug is meant to treat diarrhea, but Loperamide is often abused. The abuse and addiction normally stem from peoples desire to stay off opioid medicines. Opioids are drugs made from the opium poppy that cause addiction and dependence. Thus, users who suffer from withdrawal symptoms during recovery from the use of opioid resort to treatment with Loperamide. However, this can easily lead to Imodium abuse and subsequent addiction. That is why the public must understand what Loperamide hydrochloride is and what it can do.
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Children Younger Than 12 Years
Dosage should be based on weight. If the childs weight is not known, dosage should be based on age. When using either weight or age, use the following information:
- Children 60-95 pounds : 2 mg to start, then 1 mg after each loose stool that occurs after that. Dont take more than 6 mg per day.
- Children 48-59 pounds : 2 mg to start, then 1 mg after each loose stool that occurs after that. Dont take more than 4 mg per day.
- Children 29-47 pounds : Use Imodium only by the advice of your childs doctor.
- Children under 2 years: Do not give Imodium to children younger than 2 years of age.
Imodium is generally well-tolerated by many people. However, it can sometimes cause some side effects.
Imodium: Risk Of Abuse
- An Introduction to Opioid Abuse
- Imodium: Risk of Abuse
Imodium is an antidiarrheal drug. The active ingredient in Imodium is loperamide . Loperamide, or Imodium, is typically indicated for an episode of diarrhea or to treat people who have inflammatory bowel disease.
Loperamide, after ingestion, attaches to opioid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract and does not travel to the central nervous system. The effect is that the physical activity in the gut slows down, and as a result, the users feces will not be watery, as it during an episode of diarrhea. Imodium only treats the diarrhea as a symptom and not the cause . Imodium is an over-the-counter drug, but earlier in its history, loperamide was only available by prescription. Loperamide was approved for over-the-counter use in 1988.
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Unexpected Drug Abuse: What To Know About The Dangers Of Imodium
Even though Imodium is a common over-the-counter medicine, its increasingly used for drug abuse. With the current opioid epidemic, users are taking this everyday medication to get high when opioid drugs arent available.
Loperamide hydrochloride, sold as Imodium, treats diarrhea as an opioid agonist. Unlike other opioids, this medication doesnt pass the blood-brain barrier to affect opioid receptors. Instead, Imodium stays in the digestion tract and slows contractions while easing diarrhea.
Used as prescribed, loperamide doesnt provide any psychoactive effects. But users have found that taken in huge quantities, it passes the blood-brain barrier and causes sedative and euphoric effects, like opioid drugs. Individuals have to consume hundreds of Imodium pills at a time to feel these effects, putting themselves at risk for injury and death. Here are the risks of Imodium drug abuse:
Can result in an opiate-like highAt very high doses, Imodium binds to opioid receptors in the brain. It works the same way as heroin, oxycodone, and other opioids, leading to an Imodium High. This high can allure those with addiction or those suffering from withdrawal.
Sometimes used for opiate withdrawalThose addicted to opiates can take loperamide in high doses to lessen the effects of withdrawal. To prevent withdrawal and to mimic the effects of opioids, high doses are still needed. This can increase the chance of Imodium abuse causing side effects and death.
Clinical Methods Of Treating Opiate Withdrawal
While Imodium is not a safe or appropriate medication to be used during opiate withdrawal, other medications are commonly used. Clinical oversight is always needed during opiate withdrawal because several medications may have to be managed during the recovery process. The induction phase may involve multiple adjustments to doses based on the situation and reactions. People will also need specialized treatment as their condition begins to be controlled. A maintenance plan can be implemented thereafter. Initially, medication options may include:
Medical detox is a key stage of recovering from opiate abuse. Only proven medications should be used, and self-medicating with something like Imodium can prove quite dangerous. Unknown interactions can occur, leading to dangerous health complications. Any medication related to opiate withdrawal should only be taken under medical supervision.
While Imodium is considered relatively safe, it is possible to overdose on the medication. Impacts on breathing, heart rate, coordination, and organs system can be quite severe in extreme cases. Imodium can interact with opiates in ways laypeople might not realize. Thats why the medication is not recommended for treating opiate withdrawal. The best course of action is to seek medical detox when attempting to withdraw from opiates.
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Patient Profile/signs Of Misuse
CHPA’s safety campaign website said the low number of reported loperamide abuse cases and limited data make it difficult to pin down a specific patient profile. However, significant evidence links loperamide abuse to substance use disorder , and available data suggest that patients most at risk for abusing loperamide likely have a history of substance abuse and/or opioid use disorder. And although men in their late 20s and 30s appear to be more likely than other demographic groups to be diagnosed as abusing the drug, loperamide misuse can affect any gender or age group.
Why Some People Abuse Imodium
Imodium is a legal, inexpensive alternative to illegal and prescription opioids. There is no social stigma associated with its use. Furthermore, users can buy hundreds of pills for relatively little and use large numbers in just one day. This can give them a sense of euphoria similar to that produced by heroin or oxycodone. All these factors give Imodium a high potential for abuse.
Many people also use the drug to manage withdrawal symptoms associated with the usual opioid drugs. Instead of taking loperamide to get high, they use it to treat opioid dependence. However, using loperamide as an opioid replacement requires very large doses. This leads to the possibility of overdose. Taking large amounts of this drug frequently can result in life-threatening respiratory depression and cardiac arrhythmia.
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How Common Is Imodium Addiction
According to the FDA, there has been an increase in Imodium misuse and abuse since 2015.1 This trend is largely driven by opioid abusers who take large quantities of Imodium to self-medicate for opioid withdrawal symptoms.2
Researchers discovered a 71 percent increase in loperamide abuse-related calls to poison control centers across the U.S. between 2011 and 2014. There was also a 10-fold increase in web forum posting about abusing Imodium and 70 percent of those postings discussed using it to self-treat opioid withdrawal. Twenty-five percent of web postings about Imodium abuse talked about using the drug to get high.3
While these online forums provided many details about abusing loperamide in various ways, the short-term and long-term side effects of abusing this anti-diarrhea drug are rarely noted. Imodium may be sold over-the-counter, but that doesnt mean its safe to abuse. Any misuse of loperamide can cause serious side effects, physical dependence, addiction, overdose, or even death.
Unmanaged loperamide or Imodium withdrawal can make it very difficult to get sober because the symptoms of withdrawal can become very uncomfortable. The safest and most effective way to detox from opioids or loperamide is to complete a medical detox program. Medically-assisted Imodium detox provides 24/7 medical care and assistance to ensure your comfort and safety at all times.
Can You Overdose On Imodium
An additional report published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine recently described two deaths in New York after Imodium abuse. Overdoses have been also linked to deaths or life-threatening irregular heartbeats in at least a dozen other cases within the last 18 months. There is little data on this increasingly widespread problem, however, many toxicologists and emergency department doctors suspect it is more widespread than suggested.
An overdose of Imodium is considered extremely dangerous and can lead to these common effects:
- Paralyzed intestine
- Depressed breathing and heart rate
- Urinary retention
- Depressed central nervous system
- Lack of coordination
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has asked manufacturers of over-the-counter anti-diarrhea treatments to change the way they package their products to curb abuse by people with drug addictions. When Imodium was first under clinical trials, the DEA placed the medication on the Controlled Substances list under Schedule II the same category that medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone were listed. However, in 1976, the DEA rescheduled loperamide as a Schedule V drug saying that the substance was essentially harmless.
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Help For Imodium Abuse Or Opioid Addiction
All drugs, even those that are OTC, can be hazardous when not used as directed. Using Imodium to get high or to relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms other than diarrhea is a form of drug misuse.
If you are abusing loperamide or are using the drug to treat opioid dependence, we urge you to call Midwood Addiction Treatment as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. We employ a comprehensive approach for the treatment of substance abuse and addiction that can help you get on the path to a clean, drug-free life.
Are you ready to take that first step? If so, we are here to help!
Crazy Drug Trends: Loperamide Addiction
Loperamide is an opioid drug used against diarrhea resulting from gastroenteritis or inflammatory bowel disease. In most countries it is available generically and under brand names such as, Imodium and Pepto Diarrhea Control.
Studies on How Loperamide Works
Loperamide is an opioid-receptor agonist and acts on the opioid receptors in the large intestine by itself it does not affect the central nervous system. It works similarly to morphine, by decreasing the activity of the this part of the large intestine by increasing the amount of time substances stay in the intestine, allowing for more water to be absorbed.
It is a misconception that loperamide does not cross the bloodbrain barrier. Loperamide does cross the blood brain barrier , although it is immediately pumped back out into noncentral nervous system circulation. Therefore, it is not considered to have a high potential for abuse.
Loperamide has been shown to cause a mild physical dependence during preclinical studies, specifically in mice, rats, and rhesus monkeys. Symptoms of mild opiate withdrawal have been observed following abrupt discontinuation of long-term therapy with loperamide.
Loperamide Addiction Potential
A specific clinical study designed to assess the abuse potential of loperamide at high doses resulted in a finding of extremely low abuse potential.
Loperamide Addiction: Personal Testimonials
Loperamide Addiction: Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
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