adidas sports watch diarrhea drug abuse amid spike in overdoses

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Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that one common antidiarrheal drug should be given new packaging.

The agency is working with manufacturers to change the packaging of the drug loperamide to include blister packs and single dose packaging, which could reduce the likelihood of overdose, according to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

Loperamide, sold under brand names such as Imodium, is an over the counter opioid medication used to treat diarrhea. However, it is sometimes taken in large doses by those seeking to suppress symptoms of withdrawal from such other opioids as heroin. In such high doses, loperamide can lead to cardiac problems and even death, Gottliebsaid in a statement Tuesday.

“Today we sent letters to the OTC manufacturers requesting that they implement changes consisting of packaging limitations and unit of dose packaging,” Gottlieb said Tuesday. “We asked the manufacturers to take the necessary steps to implement these changes in a timely fashion to address these public health concerns.”

Last year, the agency added a warning to the product label about ingesting high doses due to the risk of “serious heart problems.” In 2016,
adidas sports watch diarrhea drug abuse amid spike in overdoses
the agency issued a warningthat high doses of the drug can lead toheart problems and even death.

But warning people is only one of the many ways to prevent loperamide misuse, according to Dr. Robert Glatter, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwell Health in New York, who was not involved in the FDA decision.

“It’s one of the many steps that has to occur,” Glatter said. “I think it starts with public messaging, education and a shift back to the basics about how over the counter medications are deemed to be safe but, in certain cases with abuse, can kill you.”

Areport last yearin the medical journal Annals of Emergency Medicine described two patients who died after taking large doses of loperamide in an effort to curb their opioid withdrawals.

Glatter said he’s seen loperamide misuse particularly among teenagers.

“A lot of teens are aware of this. They use different nicknames,” he said. “Parents and teachers, they owe it to their children to let them know that they’re aware that loperamide abuse can kill you.”
adidas sports watch diarrhea drug abuse amid spike in overdoses