diphenoxylate and atropine, Lomotil
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: diphenoxylate and atropine
BRAND NAME: Lomotil
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Lomotil is a combination of two drugs, diphenoxylate and atropine. It is used to treat acute diarrhea (diarrhea of limited duration). Diphenoxylate is a man-made narcotic chemically related to meperidine (Demerol). Like other narcotics, diphenoxylate reduces diarrhea by interfering with the propulsion of intestinal contents through the intestines. Although diphenoxylate is chemically related to narcotics, it does not have pain- relieving (analgesic) actions like most other narcotics. In higher doses, however, like other narcotics, diphenoxylate can cause euphoria (elevation of mood) and physical dependence. In order to prevent abuse of diphenoxylate for its mood-elevating effects, atropine is combined with diphenoxylate in small quantities. As a result, if Lomotil is taken in greater than recommended doses unpleasant side effects from too much atropine will occur. Lomotil was approved by the FDA in 1960.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets (2.5 mg diphenoxylate and 0.025mg atropine); liquid (2.5mg diphenoxylate and 0.025mg atropine per teaspoonsful).
STORAGE: Lomotil should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59- 86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Lomotil is used for the relief of acute diarrhea.
DOSING: In adults, the usual dose is 5 mg (2 tablets) of diphenoxylate three to four times per day initially. Thereafter, the dose may be decreased to 2.5 mg (1 tablet) two to three times a day. The dose for children (2 to 12 years old) is 0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg/day in four divided doses. If diarrhea is not better within 48 hours, diphenoxylate is not likely to be effective with more prolonged treatment.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: The combination of diphenoxylate and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO's), for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane) can cause severe high blood pressure with the possibility of a cerebrovascular accident (stroke).
Drugs which increase the propulsion of intestinal contents theoretically can reduce the effectiveness of diphenoxylate. Such drugs include bethanechol (Urecholine), cisapride (Propulsid), metoclopramide (Reglan), and erythromycin.
Drugs which decrease the propulsion of intestinal contents may exaggerate the effects of diphenoxylate and cause constipation. Such drugs include hyoscyamine (Levsin; Cystospaz), antihistamines such as hydroxyzine (Vistaril, Atarax) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl), opiate agonists such as oxycodone (Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, etc.), some phenothiazine antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), thioridazine (Mellaril) and triflupromazine (Stelazine), and some tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil).
Taking diphenoxylate with alcohol or other chemicals or medications that can depress the central nervous system may cause excessive sedation. Such drugs include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, for example, lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), temazepam (Restoril), oxazepam (Serax), or clonazepam (Klonopin), zolpidem (Ambien), narcotics, and tricyclic antidepressants (listed above).
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