Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Conventional Medicine--Loperamide

Disclaimer.  This is not medical advice.  I am not a licensed health practitioner.  This is just another post on an item you might wish to have available if needed so that a physician can treat you and your family as best as possible.  No medication, including those available over the counter, should be taken without consulting a physician.

Loperamide, generally known better by its trade name of Imodium, is one of those handy little tools to have in the medicinal toolbox.  But it's not so critical as to merit discussion right up there with antibiotics and OTC pain relievers.  I don't know that I've ever taken loperamide in my life, but my husband does occasionally and very much likes to have it on hand. 

So why discuss it now?  Why not wait until much later and cover more essential medications now?  Because loperamide could soon go the way of Sudafed.  If you recall, Sudafed used to be available over-the-counter right next to all the other cold remedies.  However, due to its use by meth-heads in manufacturing methamphetamine, you now have to go to the pharmacy counter, show your driver's license, and sign for it.  And you are limited in how much you can purchase each month.

Loperamide may follow suit at any time. That's because it's also known as "poor man's methadone."  Loperamide is actually an opioid, and abusers have turned to taking it in extremely large doses, like 200+ pills at once, to treat withdrawal symptoms.  So now the FDA is considering limiting our access to larger quantities.  They've asked manufacturers to package the tablets in in blister packs of eight tablets.  And you really shouldn't need more than that to treat a simple case of diarrhea.  But, we're preppers, and we like to stock up.  As recently as April 2018 one could buy 400 tablets at Sam's Club for about $4.00.  I can't find any at Sam's now online.  The cheapest I see on Amazon is $8.46 for 96 tablets.  Still, when you need it, you need it. 

Loperamide, used medically since 1976, is on WHO's List of Essential Medicines for its use in treating diarrhea due to gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and mild traveler's diarrhea.  It is NOT used for treating cholera, salmonella, typhoid, or Clostridium difficile; you want to get the bacteria causing these conditions OUT of the body ASAP.  Loperamide's job is to slow down intestinal motility and keep fluids IN the body.

Loperamide should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or in children under the age of five years.

Copyright 2018, Jennifer Rader, PrepSchoolDaily.blogspot.com.

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