abusing diarrhea medicine, limit on loperamide

The FDA has announced plans to make the anti-diarrhea pill loperamide (Imodium) more difficult to obtain. The agency has developed this initiative as part of the government’s efforts against the opioid epidemic. Because loperamide works through some of the same pathways that opiate drugs use, people have found ways to abuse this compound. Consequently, many readers who rely on it are quite upset at the prospect of the forthcoming limit on loperamide.

How Will the Limit on Loperamide Affect You?

Q. I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) controlled with two to four loperamide pills per day. My nearest pharmacy is a two-hour round trip. Limiting my purchase of Imodium will mean spending the rest of my life commuting to the drug store.

How can I let the FDA know that the proposed restrictions are ill-advised? If they really wanted to protect people from dangerous drugs they would limit access to sugar.

Tell the FDA What You Think:

A. The FDA has asked manufacturers to limit the amount of loperamide sold in packages to eight pills, enough for about two days of diarrhea control. You may wish to let the agency know what you think about their planned limit on loperamide by emailing Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD at: Commissioner@fda.hhs.gov

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    I had a bowel resection several years ago, as a result I rely on Imodium for diarrhea every time I eat. I was told by my surgeon at the time to take 2 Imodium daily to help prevent “accidents”. I was able to buy larger quantities at a big box chain store but now with the limits I will be going to drug store several times a month. This is not fair to individuals who need the medication for a real medical problem.

  2. Mona

    I could not eat w/o this drug. I waited long enough for this pill to become OTC and then generic so I could get the pills I need on a near daily basis. Now the government says large amounts of this pill can cause euphoria? They are full of it. People are taking them in large doses to quit their addiction. If you take enough to get high (can’t happen) you will be dead from a blockage. I suspect it’s all made up so someone will either make money off it or for control of opioid derivatives. You cannot, cannot, cannot get high off this stuff.

  3. Christina

    This is one of the most ridiculous ideas this government has come up with – right on par with monthly distributing boxes of food to Snap recipients rather than food vouchers. It makes one wonder if they are not on drugs themselves.

  4. tomcat

    What about any limits on the liquid form?

  5. Faye
    fort Walton Beach

    stupid why if these people want to use the wrong way to other people have to suffer. The government should stay out of it. People with bad stomach need it. don’t let the rest suffer over a few drugies

  6. Stephanie

    As for IBS, folks taking Imodium can try the “Fodmap” way of eating. Google on the internet to see how it works. The foods that can be a trigger for IBS are eliminated and gradually added back to the diet to find your triggers. Also, try meditating and less stress. Journaling your feelings and gratitude will help, too. Maybe trying these tips will help lower how many Imodium one takes.


    • Mona

      FODMAP doesn’t work for everyone. Some foods which are ok sometimes aren’t at other times. It’s either everything causes it (because it never makes any difference what I eat) or nothing. Believe me, been there; done that. Imodium is the only thing that works.

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