Tag: DEA

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. FDA Asks Diarrhea Treatment to Contain Itself


Over a year ago, I noted that both the DEA and NIDA had expressed concern over the diarrhea treatment loperamide, widely known by the brand name Imodium. Loperamide is an opioid that, with normal use, mostly stays in the gut where it belongs, but which, if it’s taken in massive doses or combined with a P-glycoprotein inhibitor, works its way into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier for a pathetic sort of high. Or, if you believe methadone treatment works, the high becomes somewhat less pathetic: loperamide has gotten a reputation among addicts as the poor man’s methadone, a means of easing withdrawal for those done with the dope.

One reason methadone is supposed to work as an addiction treatment is that it’s metabolized so slowly. It has an extremely long half-life (15-55 hours) compared to heroin’s (2-3 minutes). This smooths out the highs and lows to help those treated establish a normal life. Since methadone treatment is dispensed at clinics, not by pushers, it redirects addicts’ dependency toward authorized channels, which regularizes their life in another way. Loperamide has a half-life between heroin’s and methadone’s (9-14 hours). That half-life makes loperamide tempting as “DIY methadone treatment”.


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We typically avoid talking about maddening and infantilizing enteric distress, but there’s a good chance most of us have experienced it at some point. Many a home medicine cabinet contains Imodium (active ingredient, loperamide), and some of us may have had a doctor recommend a newer prescription agent, eluxadoline, for problems that occur with greater […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Week of Cough Misery by DEA Schedule Change


keep-calm-and-swig-the-tussionex“That drug is [expletive],” muttered my usually genteel personal doctor this morning, as he wrote me a new prescription for the opioid narcotic Tussionex to ease the hacking cough that has wreaked havoc in my lungs and life for the last week. I had explained my confusion of that name for the non-narcotic Tessalon the Med Check nurse practitioner had prescribed five days before. My diagnosis was a bronchial virus and only its symptoms are treatable. That Saturday morning, desperate for more cough relief and sleep than provided by over-the-counter Mucinex, I had suggested Tussionex to the NP. I recalled the great effect that a drug close to that name had had on my cough symptoms several years ago. She wrote me up for Tessalon and suggested I keep dosing with Mucinex and add cough drops to my regimen. This morning, seven days, four bottles of cough syrup, and a hundred cough drops later, I dosed myself with Tussionex. I slept for four blissful hours. I awoke wanting answers.

Just after midnight, two days ago, I was wrenched from sleep to cough. Awaking to that violent urge, I could not at first even inhale enough air to cough! This was out of control. I dressed and drove to the ER. I was prodded and X-rayed and the physician assistant said there was nothing more they could do. Keep taking the Tessalon, Mucinex, and cough drops. Add in an Albuterol inhaler. Drink lots of fluids. The attending nurse mentioned Tessalon’s cough suppressant effects were hit-or-miss in her experience. I replied that I thought I had taken something called Tussionex before. She did not reply. She did not say that might be just what I needed.