Officials from Randolph Country issues warning against the excessive use of anti-diarrheal drug Imodium, with an active ingredient Loperamide, after a 23-year-old man died from an overdose.
Randolph County Coroner Carlos Barbour, Sheriff Shannon Wolff, and State Attorney Jeremy Walker confirmed that the mysterious death of a 23-year-old man in Illinois in January was caused by Imodium overdose.
The officials are now asking everyone to strictly monitor their family members when taking Imodium within their households. They are also calling for store owners to hide Imodium out of plain sight to avoid excessive purchase or possible theft of the drug. The officers also encourage business owners to engage in dialogues regarding the best practices in combating the rise of extreme Loperamide ingestion.
In line with the continued rise of Imodium abuse, law enforcement will be on the lookout for possible signs of Imodium overuse during traffic stops, similarly how they inspect for narcotics and other illegal substance.
Spike In Imodium Theft
The authorities said they have seen a spike in people buying and stealing a sizeable number of Imodium. They were initially unaware that people use the drug to experience a "high" effect.
In fact, they laughed about one incident when a man had stolen three to four boxes of Imodium. Until recently, a local store owner called them and asked if there is anything suspicious about one customer who was buying large amounts of Imodium.
With the death of the 23-year-old man from Illinois, the authorities said they would do everything they can to avoid another life being wasted on excessive Imodium consumption.
FDA On Loperamide
As of January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised manufacturers to use blister packs or single dose packaging for Imodium. This is to limit acquisition and intake to recommended doses.
The FDA said at the time that it continues to receive reports of heart problems and deaths caused by unregulated ingestion of Loperamide.
The administration reiterates that the drug is safe to use when taken as prescribed, specifically for controlling symptoms of diarrhea, including Traveler's Diarrhea. However, the maximum daily dose for adults is only at 8 milligrams per day when bought over the counter. Doctors are allowed to prescribe the drug to as much as 16 milligrams per day.
According to a 2016 study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, people are consuming high doses of Imodium in their attempt to self-treat their withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction. The study also found that people took the drugs in large quantities to experience "euphoria."
William Eggleston, the lead author for the study, said that Loperamide might have been the popular choice among abusers because it is accessible, affordable, has over-the-counter legal status, and there is no stigma against buying the drug.