This post was sponsored by Influence Central as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
This is the time of year when we start getting sick more frequently. And I don’t know about you, but we don’t have time for that. From fairs to festivals, to parties, no one wants to be left out of any of our family adventures. This time of year also means that the kids are in school and they love bringing everything going around in the form of germs, home with them. Because they’ve built up a good immunity and because I’m a SAHM who isn’t around that many people, even when they are lucky enough not to get sick, it’s easy to pass along germs to yours truly. Just recently, I caught some type of tummy devil, and it was a reminder of an issue I thought you should be aware of, with otc medicine that includes loperamide, an ingredient in most diarrhea medicines.
As a retired nurse (retired early due to failed back surgery but that’s a whole other post), I still keep up with old and new medicines, the risks associated with meds, and side effects, etc. And once upon a time, I would have recommended some medicines for tummy issues (diarrhea) that I no longer recommended because of some issues that have been going on with said loperamide. One of the reasons being is that if taken in large enough quantities, some loperamide can mimic the high of opioids. That is not something I feel is beneficial to anyone, let alone my own family whom I adore, even when they don’t want to share their candy *wink.*
Because the kids so graciously shared the evil tummy bug with me (children have 5-7 episodes per year on average), and because my tummy issues are still on my mind, I thought it would be a good time to remind all of you to make sure you read the labels when you’re selecting a diarrhea medication for your family (ages +6 and older). Loperamide is an ingredient in many products used to treat o-t-c diarrhea, and if used improperly it poses a potential risk. As I mentioned above, loperamide can mimic the high of opioids if taken in large dosages and there have been cases of teenagers using such products to get “high.” Another thing that concerns me about loperamide is that it does not directly address the underlying cause of diarrhea; rather it may only have an effect of relieving symptoms. Of course, you want your family to be free of illnesses asap, to do the things you love to do with them, but the risks to loperamide are so great that the FDA has even recently asked retailers to voluntarily stop carrying large count loperamide products.
I know your family’s health is important and you want everyone to get over any illness as quickly as possible, so you can head out on vacation, travel, or do whatever it is your family loves to do. When you head to your local pharmacy to buy OTC diarrhea-relief medicine, do a little research on their ingredients and the effects they can have if taken in large doses.
Diarrhea isn’t just something kids get, (as well as tweens/teens who are in the age range to take medicine with loperamide) travelers tend to get diarrhea more often as well. If you’re planning to travel during the holidays, traveler’s diarrhea is probably on your mind and if not, it should be. I would hate for you to be caught unaware because 70% of travelers will suffer from diarrhea.
As you head into the holidays or plan to do some holiday travel, beware of the potential for abuse of any over the counter products containing loperamide.
Please check out these additional resources at your earliest convenience.
- Opioids are the biggest crisis facing the FDA: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/health/fda-gottlieb-opioid-crisis-tobacco-crackdown/index.html
- Doctors warn against the deadly trend of using anti-diarrhea drugs like Imodium to get high: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3573116/Doctors-wean-against-deadly-trend-using-anti-diarrhoea-drugs-high.html
- FDA warning letter encouraging retailers to limit large count Loperamide items (June 7th, 2018): https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm594232.htm
- Loperamide fact sheet (antimotility/how it works and warnings): https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/017690s005lbl.pdf)
- Bulk purchases of these large volumes can be made relatively cheaply: https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/wjpvvy/fda-imodium-opioid-abuse
- Further background on FDA action and requests: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fda-asks-online-retailers-amazon-ebay-walmart-to-restrict-anti-diarrheal-medication-used-by-opioid-addicts
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