FDA warns of serious heart problems with high doses of loperamide

FDA warns of serious heart problems with high doses of loperamide

The FDA said, taking high doses of loperamide alongside other medications may serve to increase a person's risk for developing severe heart ailments such as abnormal heart rhythms.

"In the 39 years from when loperamide was first approved in 1976 through 2015, FDA received reports of 48 cases of serious heart problems associated with the use of loperamide". More than half of those cases have occurred in the last six years, as the country struggles in the grip of an opioid epidemic.

"A recent article in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reported on the two deaths of people who tried to self-treat their withdrawal from addiction to narcotic painkillers by using Imodium". In other cases, patients were taking the recommended dose of loperamide, but they were also taking interacting medicines, causing an increase in loperamide levels.

Imodium is sold both over the counter and by prescription to treat the various causes of diarrhea, including traveler's diarrhea. Some are reported to be taking as much as 300mg in one sitting when the recommended dosage is 8-16 mg per day.

They also called on public health officials to raise further the people's awareness on the impacts of overdosing on loperamide. Doctors should also talk to their patients about possible complications of loperamide when taken with other drugs.

Many of us associate Imodium as the "go-to" solution for diarrhea, but the drug increasingly is being abused as a way to get high, especially for those trying to wean themselves off opioids.

FDA continues to evaluate this safety issue and will determine if additional FDA actions are needed. The primary ingredient in prescription Imodium and similar over-the-counter drugs is meant to control diarrhea.

The FDA said they are considering tighter regulation of sales of Imodium. Patients should only take loperamide in doses as prescribed by their healthcare providers or as listed on the OTC drug facts label. "If your diarrhea lasts more than 2 days, stop taking loperamide and contact your health care professional", the FDA suggests.

 

 

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