Imodium Withdrawal & Detox

When people are searching for information about Imodium withdrawal, there are two different, relevant concepts. First, people often wonder if long-term use of Imodium can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Second, there is a growing concern about people using Imodium for withdrawal symptoms from opioids. Before tackling the specifics of either, what is Imodium? Imodium is a brand-name drug, available over-the-counter. The generic name is loperamide, which is also available as a prescription. Imodium is used as a short-term diarrhea treatment. Imodium works by slowing the movement of the intestines, for fewer bowel movements and stools that are less watery. When used accordingly, Imodium is a safe medication. It has a few mild side effects, such as drowsiness or constipation. These side effects aren’t typically severe, and the medicine is well-tolerated by most people.

If someone uses Imodium for a long period, they could potentially become dependent on it. This isn’t very likely at therapeutic doses, but the chance is there. If someone was a long-term Imodium taker and they developed a dependence, they might experience withdrawal symptoms if they stopped using it suddenly. For some people, Imodium withdrawal symptoms can be similar to opioid withdrawal. For example, chronic Imodium takers may experience flu-like withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and body aches.

There is a growing trend with Imodium that’s troubling, as well. Imodium is being used as a replacement for opioids in people who are addicted to these drugs. Imodium is also being used as a way to stop opioid withdrawal symptoms. Both of these scenarios can be dangerous or deadly. There are reports of a surge in people going to emergency departments and healthcare facilities because of Imodium toxicity and overdoses. At normal, therapeutic doses, Imodium can’t cross the blood barrier. It’s structurally similar to opioids, but because it can’t cross into the brain, it doesn’t cause people to feel high. However, at very high doses, Imodium can cross that barrier, and it does affect the brain and body like opioids. The risk in using Imodium for withdrawal or to get high is that the doses required to do so are enormous.

A question commonly circulated online is “how much Imodium is needed for withdrawal from opioids?” This is a disturbing question in a number of ways. First, opioid withdrawal is something that should be managed in a professional, medical facility. Opioid withdrawal can be severe, and symptoms can lead to medical complications. At a medical facility, these symptoms can be managed. No one should ever attempt to go through withdrawal on their own or without medical care. The second reason this question is problematic is that the amount of Imodium needed with withdrawal is so high.

The recommended daily dose for loperamide is no more than 8 to 16 mg per day. People using loperamide and brand-name Imodium for withdrawal or to get high are often using 200 mg a day or more. It’s not uncommon for people to take hundreds of Imodium tablets in a day. It’s easily accessible and inexpensive as well. These large doses are needed for Imodium to have any effects similar to opioids and to cross the blood-brain barrier. On average, it’s estimated ten times the recommended amount of Imodium is needed to reduce withdrawal symptoms at all. Taking that much Imodium can lead to organ impairment and urinary retention. Other side effects of an Imodium overdose can include what’s called a stopped intestine. Much like opioids, high doses of Imodium can depress the respiratory system and can cause problems with breathing and heart rate. Imodium can also cause sudden heart-related issues, which can be fatal.

When someone attempts to treat their opioid withdrawal symptoms with Imodium, all they’re doing is replacing one harmful substance with another. That person may then ultimately have to go through withdrawal symptoms from the Imodium as well. The best course of action is a professional, medical opioid or Imodium detox. During a detox, there is a medical team who can oversee the treatment of a patient. In some cases, patients may follow a tapering schedule to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. The medical team can also provide any necessary medications and monitor vitals. Using an at-home Imodium detox is not only going to be ineffective, but it can end up being deadly.


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.