Using Loperamide for Treating Opioid Withdrawal
Loperamide is an anti-diarrheal medication that is commonly used to treat acute and chronic diarrhea. It is the generic name for the drug called Imodium and is available both in my prescription or over the counter. It works by slowing down the flow of the fluids and the electrolytes into the bowel and effectively decreases both the movement of the bowel and the frequency of bowel movements. The medication comes as a tablet, capsule, or liquid solution that is to be taken by mouth.
Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal
Addiction to opioid drugs is an ever-growing problem in the United States. These drugs can be extremely painful and even be a risk to your health. Withdrawal from opioids occurs when you stop taking an opiate medication after developing a physical dependence on the drug. Anyone taking an opiate can become dependent on it whether they are mentally addicted or not. Symptoms such as diarrhea, muscle aches, runny nose, sweating, chills, and nausea can be rough and last for several days. Loperamide can be used to help relieve diarrhea when you’re in a treatment program and detox from opioids in a safe place.
Treating Diarrhea During Opiate Detox
Withdrawal symptoms can vary some and are oftentimes the opposite of the effects of the drug you are taking. For example, a common side effect of opioid use is constipation, but during withdrawal, you could experience diarrhea instead. As you go through the stages of withdrawal, constipation from opioid use goes away and bowel movements return very quickly. This can lead to severe diarrhea and stomach cramping that can last for days or even weeks. It is important to treat diarrhea right away as it can lead to dehydration that can cause health risks.
How Loperamide Works in Opioid Detox
Loperamide helps to prevent and treat diarrhea by slowing down your movement and digestion of your intestines. Loperamide is the active ingredient in Imodium and is an opioid receptor agonist. This means it is also a type of opiate. It works on the body by affecting the proteins called opioid receptors that are found in your cell’s gastrointestinal tract. It signals these opioid receptors to keep on working. This will balance your digestive system and keep you from having diarrhea or constipation. Unlike other opioids out there, Loperamide does not cross the blood to brain barrier, therefore, it does not cause you to get high or relieve any pain like other opioids and opiates do because it cannot reach the brain.
Medical Detox With a Safe Approach
When taken at the correct doses, Loperamide is safe to use for the treatment of opioid withdrawal, but opioid withdrawal should not be done on your own. The best and safest way to get off of the drugs first with medical detox followed by rehabilitation to treat the opioid addiction and a combination of counseling and prescribed medication. Medical detox involves ridding your body of the drugs with the assistance of medical professionals to make the process less painful for you. Here at Evoke Wellness Florida, we offer medical detox. Once that is completed we also provide top an of line rehab facility and staff to help you get your life back on track where we provide counseling and therapy to not only treat your addiction, but also the underlying causes of that addiction.
We recommend to all of our patients to extend their treatment beyond medical detox to help secure a long life of sobriety. Getting the help you need isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. Let us help you along the way.