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Imodium For Opiate Withdrawals: Is Loperamide A Cure?

Last Updated: April 8, 2024

Reviewed by Dr. Ash Bhatt

Imodium A-D is sometimes used for opiate withdrawals. Although loperamide is not an approved medicine for withdrawal, it possesses certain properties that can make it easier for a person to go through detox. At the same time, the use of Imodium for opiate withdrawals poses significant health risks and can even be lethal.

Loperamide For Opiate Withdrawal

Imodium is a drug used to treat sudden diarrhea. It acts as a central nervous system depressant and subsequently produces depressive effects on the digestive system. Loperamide mechanism of action relies on the opioid properties of the medication. Although the drug is practically unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, many wonder whether Imodium helps with opiate withdrawal and whether it can be used recreationally.

Loperamide is sometimes used during detoxification and withdrawal to treat diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and nausea. It can be an effective remedy when taken correctly. Some people, however, rely on loperamide for withdrawal symptoms treatment such as cravings, flu-like symptoms, depression, irritability, and agitated state.

loperamide for opiate withdrawalThose effects of opiate withdrawal cannot be treated with loperamide. However, under special circumstances, this medication has a potential of inducing high and other pleasurable effects of opioid drugs. It leads people to believe that the use of Imodium for discontinuation can be useful. Unlike proper medical supervision, however, loperamide will not grant relief from severe pain, muscle aches, and the psychological dependence on the drug abused.

Imodium For Managing Opiate Withdrawals

When loperamide is used for withdrawals, there will be small differences in the way it acts depending on the drug a person is trying to give up. Aside from the cardiac problems caused by large doses of the medicine, Imodium may interact with some substances and pose additional health risks.

Imodium For Heroin Withdrawal

Many people who are going through heroin detox cannot afford FDA approved medications and are not willing to enroll in free state rehab programs. Some of them seek to relieve severe and overwhelming symptoms of opiate withdrawal with Imodium. Loperamide is so attractive because of its affordability. As a substitute for heroin discontinuation medications, loperamide is not efficient, but it’s cheap and available as an over-the-counter drug. When used in excessive quantities, this medicine can mimic the psychoactive properties of heroin, thus bringing a temporary relief during withdrawal. This tendency to use Imodium for heroin withdrawal is incredibly dangerous.

Imodium For Suboxone Withdrawal

Suboxone is a medication used to assist in opiate discontinuation. However, it is also frequently abused. The users often turn to Imodium to treat Suboxone withdrawal symptoms. In proper doses, this drug can help reduce diarrhea that commonly occurs during Suboxone discontinuation. Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief can also help with gas, cramps, and nausea. However, the use of loperamide for Suboxone withdrawal symptoms that do not relate to the digestive system is not effective.

Imodium For Kratom Withdrawal

loperamide for kratom withdrawalKratom is an herbal supplement used to relieve pain and self-medicate during opiate withdrawal. However, it is possible to develop an addiction to Kratom as well. When people wish to stop using it but find themselves unable to do so without assistance, they sometimes rely on loperamide for Kratom withdrawal. Many believe Imodium helps with such effects of Kratom detox as muscle pain and cravings; however, it’s not true.

How Much Imodium Is Used For Opiate Withdrawal

The recommended doses of Imodium range from 4 to 16 mg per day for adults. The FDA explicitly warns individuals against exceeding the maximum doses due to an increased risk of severe cardiac problems and death. It leads those who seek a cure for opiate discontinuation to wonder how much Imodium they should take for opiate withdrawal and whether it is safe.

Due to the nature of the drug, loperamide dose for opiate withdrawal would have to be large enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier. In normal doses, the medicine does not reach the brain since there is no need for this kind of impact. People who use Imodium to treat withdrawal symptoms, however, count on its psychoactive properties that only appear when large amounts of the drug are ingested. The average dose of loperamide for opiate withdrawal is reported to be 70 mg per day. Some people use as much as 100-200 mg of Imodium every day. At the same time, many people claim that doses as low as 36 mg of loperamide help them fight the most severe discontinuation symptoms. It might be attributed to individual sensitivity to the drug and the placebo effect.

The Risks Of Imodium A-D For Opiate Withdrawal

Imodium is not clinically approved for opiate withdrawal. Loperamide is a drug that can relieve specific symptoms connected to the digestive system. Yet, it cannot provide complex assistance during the detoxification and discontinuation period. Unlike other medications such as buprenorphine and methadone, Imodium was not designed for opiate withdrawal to display any psychoactive properties in recommended doses.

imodium for opiate withdrawal side effectsTherefore, to use Imodium for opioid discontinuation, an individual would have to initiate an overdose on purpose. The side effects of overdosing may manifest in Imodium opiate high, hallucinations, and extreme drowsiness. In addition, loperamide toxicity that occurs at extremely large doses can pose serious health risks. An attempt to use Imodium for opiate withdrawal can result in QT prolongation, an abnormal heart rhythm, cardiac arrest, liver dysfunction, paralyzed intestine, and it may even lead to death.

Another significant issue that might occur with the use of Imodium to assist opiate withdrawal is the development of an addiction.

The Benefits And Hazards Of Imodium Addiction Treatment

The use of Imodium for opiate discontinuation is relatively common among those who wish to quit drugs but are unable to reach a rehabilitation center. Overall, Imodium does help with opiate withdrawals, although its effects are extremely limited when an individual takes it as recommended. This medicine can help alleviate diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps, which are frequent symptoms during heroin and Kratom discontinuation. Despite the possibility to get high on Imodium, loperamide is not a withdrawal cure. When the goal is to imitate the effects of psychoactive drugs, the required amount of loperamide for opiate withdrawal is enormous. To go through detox successfully, it is vital to consult with a specialist and obtain correct medication within a treatment program and get professional psychological help at a rehab facility.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.fda.gov/media/98335/download
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633632/
  3. https://www.jabfm.org/content/jabfp/30/6/832.full.pdf

Published on: February 2nd, 2024

Updated on: April 8th, 2024

About Author

Decyry Jhoy Serrano, RPh

In 2017, Decyry Jhoy Serrano completed the postgraduate course Drug Menace at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Manila, Philippines. In 2019, she volunteered in the local government’s Narcotics Anonymous and Anti-Drug Abuse programs. She is a speaker and an advocate of anti-drug addiction campaigns. As a remembrance for her late father, Decyry dedicates her time writing the proper use of medications as well as the dangers of drug addiction to educate the people, especially the youth.

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Ash Bhatt

Throughout his professional life, Dr. Bhatt has been conferred with diplomate status by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, certifying him in both adult and child/adolescent psychiatry. His experiences in emergency rooms, frequently encountering patients with simultaneous health and addiction issues, directed his attention to these specific fields.


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