Latest Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse Trend

Playing Dying to Get High?

What's the latest over-the-counter drug that addicts are turning to in order to get their fix? Move over Sudafed, it's the anti-diarrhea medication Imodium A-D. Why does it have growing appeal with substance abusers? It's cheap, readily available, and it's active ingredient is an opioid. 

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Gastroenterologist Dr. Su Sacher joins The Doctors to discuss this alarming trend. The recommended dose of Imodium A-D is 16 mg a day. Substance abusers are taking 600 mg or more than 200 pills daily! 

Loperamide hydrochloride is the active ingredient found in Imodium. There are opioid receptors throughout our gut, which is what the active ingredient is meant to bind to, however, once those receptors are saturated, the drug will go elsewhere in your body.

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The potential side effects of this type of drug overuse are immense. People who are abusing these anti-diarrhea pills are dying from the major toll it takes on your heart and lungs. 

The FDA issued a warning in June of 2016 to warn about the growing over-usage of the popular over-the-counter drug. When the anti-diarrhea medication first came out in the 1970's, it was a controlled substance. However, now that it's an over-the-counter, there should be special precautions put in place. 

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