People Are Using Anti-Diarrhea Meds to Get High, Prompting FDA Crackdown

People really want to get high these days.

For a buzz, addicts are abusing loperamide, a drug sold under the brand name Imodium A-D to treat diarrhea, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to crack down.

Imodium is sold over the counter and is used by some suffering from opioid addiction as a way to manage withdrawal symptoms and maintain a high. 

The drug is safe at approved doses of four 2-milligram tablets per day, but when the dosage is raised the drug can be deadly. Addicts have been documented taking from 50 to 300 pills a day to achieve the high they seek. 

In 2017, the FDA added a warning to the product label to dissuade from abuse and this week the agency sent letters to manufacturers requesting additional steps, including limiting the amount of loperamide per package for short-term use. 

"We asked the manufacturers to take the necessary steps to implement these changes in a timely fashion to address these public health concerns," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. 

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