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Family & Parenting

Loperamide – Do You Read the Labels?

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We have all been there. Whether we have small children in school or daycare, we have family visiting for the holidays, or we are taking a family vacation… it’s bound to hit. The stomach bug is inevitable, and someone ends up in the bathroom all day and night. Diarrhea affects about 70% of travelers, both adults and children. Most adults will wait until it passes, but some look for relief. Of course the most common way to resolve diarrhea is through over the counter remedies like loperamide, but are you reading the labels?

sister kissing baby brother loperamide
Kids are cute but germy!

What is Loperamide?

Loperamide is the active ingredient in OTC diarrhea relief medicines. When used correctly, loperamide is completely safe. However, if it is taken in large doses, it can mimic the effects of opioids. I don’t know about you, but until recently this was something I was NOT aware of!

Toddler girl in cozy coupe car
Diarrhea while traveling is no fun!

Because of this, the FDA has asked retailers to voluntarily stop carrying large count loperamide products. Opioids are actually the biggest crisis facing the FDA right now, and medications that mimic opioid use can be dangerous. Parents with children of any age should beware of the potential for abuse of any over the counter products containing loperamide.

What Can Moms Do?

A mom’s number one job is keeping her children safe. We keep sharp objects out of reach, we lock doors, and we teach about stranger danger. But we often forget about the dangers of over the counter medicines that are otherwise safe. Here’s what we can do to keep our families healthy:

  • Always keep medications out of the reach of children, especially small children. Keeping medications in a locked cabinet is best.
  • Always read the labels of any medication, whether prescription or over the counter, before use.
  • Talk with your children about the dangers of misusing any medication. Make sure they know to talk with a parent before taking any medication.
  • On average, children have 5-7 episodes of diarrhea per year. Talk with your doctor about the best course of action to take (if any) when this happens.

big sister and little sister playing dress up loperamide

Loperamide can be effective in terms of relieving diarrhea symptoms, which is helpful in uncomfortable situations. However, it does not address the underlying issue or cause of diarrhea. It does not cure any virus or correct chronic digestive disorders. Be sure to consult your physician for further medical advice.

Spread the Word!

While I have only recently become aware of loperamide and its effects, I know too well about the dangers of opioids. I want to make sure all moms and dads are aware of what they can do to help keep their families safe. Parents should be aware of potential dangers within their homes, and be informed of things they can do to prevent substance abuse when it comes to their children.

Stay informed and spread the word to others who can benefit from this information! You can read the FDA’s letter HERE.

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