In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for diphenoxylate/atropine, trade name LomotilTM.
What it’s for & How to take
Diphenoxylate/atropine is used, along with other treatment such as fluid and salt replacement, to treat diarrhea. This medication decreases the urgent feeling as well as how often you need to move your bowels.
Diphenoxylate/atropine is a combination medication. The first part slows movement in your intestines while the second part works to dry up bodily fluids in your bowels.
This medication is usually taken not more than 4 times daily, or as directed by your physician. Do not take more than is prescribed by your doctor. The medication may not work any better. However, the side effects may be dangerous.
If your symptoms are not getting better within 48 hours or are getting worse, call your doctor.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
Warnings & Cautions
- Diphenoxylate may be habit forming. If you have used this medication for a long time, it may cause withdrawal symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting if you suddenly stop. Your doctor may slowly decrease your dose over a short period. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you have any withdrawal symptoms.
- Do not use diphenoxylate/atropine in children less than 2 years of age. Caution is advised for use in children greater than 2 years of age. Very serious and potentially life-threatening side effects may occur if children take too much of this medication.
- This medicine should not be used to treat diarrhea if you have certain types of liver disease or specific types of gastrointestinal infections that are causing diarrhea. Talk with your doctor about this.
- Infants born to mothers who are taking diphenoxylate/atropine are at risk. This medication should only be used during pregnancy when the benefit to the mother is greater than the risk to the unborn baby. Diphenoxylate/atropine passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended while taking this medication.
- This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking diphenoxylate/atropine.
- While treating diarrhea, drink fluids that contain electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Ask your pharmacist which fluid is best for you to drink. Call your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of dehydration such as extreme thirst, decreased urination, muscle cramps or body weakness.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if diphenoxylate/atropine is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have Down’s syndrome, dehydration, liver disease any bowel disease or any other medical condition.
- While taking diphenoxylate/atropine, you may feel some drowsiness, dizziness, headache, constipation, dry mouth, and perhaps some blurred vision. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any severe stomach or abdominal pain, severe constipation, any mental or mood changes, numbness in your arm or legs or any other severe side effect.
If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.