Sometimes the FDA takes actions that make people nervous. Concerns about abuse of the anti-diarrhea drug loperamide (Imodium) have the agency considering restrictions on this over-the-counter product. And that has some folks worried about how they will cope without it.
Imodium for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Q. I’ve read that the FDA is going to make it harder for people to buy Imodium. This is bad news for people like me with irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea).
I have controlled my symptoms for years with one Imodium tablet per day. Without it, I need to be near a bathroom within 20 minutes of eating, and I need to stay seated for 10 to 20 minutes. Not fun.
This has been a cheap and easily available drug for IBS-D sufferers. I guess I need to stock up now before it becomes both expensive and hard to find.
What Is Imodium?
A. Loperamide (Imodium A-D) controls diarrhea by slowing the muscular contractions of the lower digestive tract. The agency wants to limit OTC dosage packs to eight pills, enough to treat acute diarrhea for two days.
Some people have been using high doses of loperamide to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. Others have abused the drug in an effort to get high. It takes such high doses that people may experience irregular heart rhythms or cardiac arrest.
We have heard from many readers who suffer from chronic diarrhea. They rely on loperamide to be able to work or travel. Like you, they worry that the new regulations could raise the price and complicate their lives.
More Stories from Readers:
A.M. is frustrated by people who make it hard for others:
“Once again, drug abusers make it difficult for people who really need it.”
Carol says the new FDA plan would impact her life:
“If I have to limit my loperamide intake ( 1 per day), I would never be able to leave my house.”
Sura agrees with Carol:
“This is ridiculous. As an Irritable Bowel sufferer I need it often if I have to leave the house at certain times. I use loperamide when I travel almost every day.”
Donna in North Carolina says this drug is essential:
“My husband has an ileostomy due to ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s so he is prescribed loperamide. He can take up to 9 pills/day. Without it he would become dehydrated quickly because of the watery stool.”
What Do You Think?
The FDA wants to limit loperamide packages to 8 pills, enough for two days of treatment. Share your thoughts on this plan below in the comment section.