Blogs

FDA WARNS ABOUT OVERDOSING ON ANTI-DIARRHEA DRUGS

Posted by Sarah Showard | Jun 08, 2016 | 0 Comments

The FDA has issued a warning to doctors and patients that a common over the counter anti-diarrhea drug can cause deadly heart rhythms when taken at higher than recommended doses.  

The drug loperamide is sold over the counter or by prescription and is available in generic, store-brand and brand-name (Immodium A-D) versions.  The use of higher than recommended doses appears to be related to the ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse as very large doses can result in heroin-like highs.  Some abusers also combine it with other drugs to increase absorption across the blood-brain barrier.  Overdose of the drug can result in cardiac events including QT interval prolongation, torsades de pointes, or other ventricular arrhythmias, syncope and cardiac arrest. 

 The FDA has received 31 reports of people hospitalized due to heart problems including 10 deaths.  National poison centers have reported a 71 percent increase in calls involving loperamide-containing drugs between 2011 and 2014.

 The agency advises individuals whose diarrhea has lasted more than two days to stop taking loperamide and contact a doctor and to seek immediate medical attention for fainting, rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia or unresponsiveness. 

 Doctors are advised to discontinue loperamide if toxicity is suspected, measure blood levels of loperamide and consider electrical pacing or cardioversion in cases of torsades de pointes for which drug treatment is ineffective. 

 The FDA Safety Announcement can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm504617.htm

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Showard Law Firm-Tucson's Local Law Firm for defective drug & medical device claims.

Showard law firm group photo compressor

Showard Law Firm is dedicated to compassionate representation for our clients who have been injured by defective products, dangerous drugs or the negligence of any individual or company. We are experienced in litigation and ready to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement for your injuries, medical bills, mental anguish and other losses.

Showard Law Firm celebrates 10 years

10th anniversary showard

2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Showard Law Firm. After 18 years of practice, and a prior ten-year partnership, Sarah Showard and her longtime assistant, Maria De La Rosa, opened the doors of Showard Law Firm in October 2006. Sarah and everyone at Showard Law Firm is proud to serve Southern Arizona as the local law firm for defective drug and medical device claims and personal injury.