Using Imodium to Treat Opiate Withdrawal
What is Loperamide?
Loperamide hydrochloride, otherwise known as Imodium, is an opioid medication that is used to treat several forms of diarrhea. Loperamide works by binding to opioid receptors in the digestive system to slow down the movement of the intestines. It is available inexpensively over-the-counter without a prescription. Recently, people who are suffering from opiate withdrawal symptoms have been experimenting with loperamide to treat their symptoms. To date, there is no research that points to loperamide being effective in treating opiate withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, high doses of loperamide can lead to dangerous side effects and, in some cases, fatal overdoses.
Imodium works on opioid receptors in the digestive tract but the drug is usually unable to cross the blood-brain barrier -a process that is required to provide the pain relief and other euphoric effects associated with other opiate drugs. Since Imodium does not affect the brain when taken in recommended doses, people have to take tremendous amounts of the drug, sometimes hundreds of pills at one time, in an attempt to relieve their withdrawal symptoms. This can be extremely dangerous since high doses of loperamide can suppress the heart and lungs, slow other body functions and even result in a fatal overdose.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Have more questions about Imodium abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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