In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use Imodium AD for opiate withdrawal. Loperamide hydrochloride is the drug in the over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication called Imodium AD. There is actually a lot of misleading and confusing information on the internet about using loperamide for opiate withdrawal. I intend to set the record straight and give you a clear, concise and correct assessment of the benefits and precautions of using loperamide for opiate withdrawal.
Table of Contents
Why Opiate Withdrawal Leads to Diarrhea and Other Gastrointestinal Issues
Before I teach you how to use Imodium for opiate withdrawal, it’s important that you understand why withdrawal causes diarrhea in the first place. Drugs like heroin, Morphine, Methadone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are opioids.
Opioids are a class of narcotic drugs that relieve pain and slow down the Central Nervous System. When you take an opioid, it binds to your opioid receptors in the brain. When the drug enters your system and fills these receptor sites, the receptor “turns on”.
To further illustrate this, imagine that the opioid drug is a key, and the opioid receptor is a lock. When the key (drug) is placed in the lock (receptor), the door opens (turns on) and that’s when you feel the effects (pain relief, euphoria, respiratory depression, dilated pupils, constipation, etc.)
Problems arise when you start taking opioids consistently over a period of time. Tolerance to the drug can develop quickly, so you start needing more opioids to achieve the same desired effects. Eventually, you can develop a physiological dependence from taking opioids consistently, even if you are taking low dosages prescribed by your doctor. If you stop taking opioids abruptly after a tolerance has been established, withdrawal symptoms can arise.
You see, our bodies weren’t designed to handle these powerful, concentrated drugs. When you take opioids on a regular basis, your body starts creating more opioid receptors. When you stop taking opioids, now you have all of these extra receptors that are empty, and that’s why you experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms then become the opposite of the drug effects. So instead of relaxation, you have anxiety. Rather than pain relief, you experience exaggerated pain.
In place of the constipating effect opiates produce, your body rebounds quickly in the opposite direction. This leads to opiate withdrawal-induced diarrhea. Luckily, you can use Imodium for opiate withdrawal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramping.
Imodium For Opiate Withdrawal Benefits
Many people have eased their symptoms by using Imodium for opiate withdrawal. Imodium is beneficial because it acts as a mu opioid-agonist on the myenteric plexus of the large intestine. This is just a fancy way of saying Imodium has the same effects that opioids do on your stomach. Loperamide, the active ingredient in Imodium AD, is a synthetic opioid, though it does not get you high. This is because Imodium doesn’t act on the Central Nervous System (CNS).
In fact, a common misconception is that Imodium doesn’t cross the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). In reality, Imodium DOES cross this barrier, however, it gets IMMEDIATELY pumped back out into NON-CNS circulation. So to sum things up, loperamide is a synthetic opioid drug that doesn’t get you high (doesn’t stay in the brain), although it does have powerful opioid effects (constipating) on the large intestine.
My Experience Using Imodium AD For Opiate Withdrawal
I used Imodium AD for opiate withdrawal several times during my addiction. Each time I knew I could count on Imodium to stop my diarrhea and stomach cramping. What I love about Imodium is how easily accessible and inexpensive it is. Since it is so cheap (only a few dollars), I started keeping it in my medicine cabinet for opiate withdrawal emergencies. For acute opiate withdrawal, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Imodium for opiate withdrawal diarrhea and stomach cramping. I actually recommend the generic form, loperamide HCL, because it’s the same thing and it’s much cheaper.
How to Use Imodium For Opiate Withdrawal
When learning how to use Imodium for opiate withdrawal, it’s important to know the precautions as well as the benefits.
The following criteria will help you determine how to use Imodium for opiate withdrawal safely:
- Imodium can be addictive.
- Try to use Imodium for only 3-4 days to help ease the worst of the symptoms.
- Use Imodium for opiate withdrawal for no longer than one week.
- Imodium for opiate withdrawal can lead to a physiological dependence if used for too long.
- Use the least amount of Imodium possible to obtain relief from opiate withdrawal diarrhea and stomach cramping.
- Depending on your severity of addiction, you may need to use a small or a large dosage of Imodium for opiate withdrawal relief.
- Drink plenty of water and Gatorade while using Imodium for opiate withdrawal to avoid dehydration.
When you purchase Imodium for opiate withdrawal, the directions on the back of the box will say to take two caplets after the first loose stool, and one caplet after each subsequent loose stool. The directions will also inform you not to exceed four caplets in 24 hours. I will tell you right now, I greatly exceeded those directions when I used Imodium for opiate withdrawal. I used about four caplets at a time, and I probably took that dosage three times throughout the day, for a total of 12 caplets (24 mg) in 24 hours.
Note: Everyone is biochemically unique with varying degrees of addiction severity. You may only need a few caplets of Imodium like the directions say. Alternatively, you may need even more Imodium than I used.
Taking Mega-Doses of Imodium For Opiate Withdrawal
After reviewing many of the threads on forums, I’ve read some pretty cool stories on using Imodium for opiate withdrawal. Some people have stated that mega-doses of Imodium (15-60 mg) not only stopped diarrhea, but it also alleviated nearly ALL of their symptoms! I’ve also read about people actually getting high on these mega-doses, and some have even become very addicted to the high from Imodium. Apparently, many opiate abusers have reported things like Vitamin C, grapefruit juice and cimetidine (Tagamet) can help push Imodium to pass the Blood-Brain Barrier.
Note: I’m usually hesitant to believe absolutely everything I read in these forums because there is a lot of misleading information (there is also a lot of great info). However, everyone is biochemically unique, and since I’ve never tried these mega-doses of Imodium, I still completely believe in the drugs ability to produce these results in some people, though not all people. Furthermore, taking these mega-doses of Imodium for opiate withdrawal is generally considered safe as long as it’s only done for a few days during acute opiate withdrawal.
CAUTION!!! Some people have become addicted to Imodium. Do to using it for a prolonged period of time (usually a few months or more) at large doses, people have even ended up in the hospital with serious heart problems…some resulting in death.
To learn more about the dangers of Imodium abuse, click below:
To read articles on the medical consequences of Imodium abuse, click below:
A typical Imodium mega-dosing protocol looks like this:
- Day 1: Take 400 mg of Tagamet followed by 24-30 mg of Imodium or less washed down with a glass of grapefruit juice (GFJ) every 5-8 hours, or as needed (some individuals will only need 16 mg of Imodium every 10-12 hours).
- Day 2: Take 400 mg of Tagamet followed by 20 mg of Imodium every 5-8 hours, or as needed, all washed down with GFJ.
- Day 3: Take 400 mg of Tagamet followed by 18 mg of Imodium every 5-8 hours, or as needed, all washed down with GFJ.
- Day 4: Begin to lower you Imodium dosage by half, but continue to take with 400 mg of Tagamet and wash down with GFJ.
Note: Since everyone has varying levels of addiction severity, this protocol may or may not work for you. Based on your unique needs, you may benefit from raising or lowering the Imodium for opiate withdrawal dosage. Listen to your body. Make adjustments as necessary.
If you have any questions on how to use Imodium for opiate withdrawal, please feel free to post them in the comment box below.