This medication is used to treat diarrhea. It helps to decrease the number and frequency of bowel movements. It works by slowing the movement of the intestines. Opium belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic pain relievers, but this medication acts mainly to slow the gut.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
A very weak solution of this drug may also be used to treat severe withdrawal symptoms in infants born to mothers who were addicted to narcotics during pregnancy.
Take this medication by mouth, usually 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. It may be taken with food or meals if stomach upset occurs.
Carefully measure each dose using the dropper provided. If your medication comes in an oral dosing syringe, use the syringe to measure the dose. Do not inject the medication. The dose may be mixed with a small amount of water just before taking.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as sweating, nausea, vomiting, restlessness) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Though very unlikely, abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction) is possible with this medication. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Diarrhea can sometimes cause a severe loss of body water (dehydration). It is important that you drink the proper amount of fluids and minerals (electrolytes) to prevent this effect. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop signs of dehydration (e.g., extreme thirst, decreased urination, muscle cramps, weakness, fainting). You may also need to change to a bland diet during this time to reduce irritation to your stomach/intestines. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve in a few days.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, fainting, vision changes, mental/mood changes.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking tincture of opium, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other narcotics (e.g., codeine, morphine), or to papaverine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing problems (e.g., respiratory depression), intoxication with alcohol or medications that depress the nervous system or your breathing (CNS/respiratory depressants such as tranquilizers/sedatives).
Since this medication slows the gut, it should not be used to treat diarrhea caused by poisoning until the toxin is removed from your gut.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (e.g., seizures, head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure), heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat), lung diseases (e.g., asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), stomach/intestinal bleeding, disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis), mental/mood disorders (e.g., toxic psychosis), a certain spinal problem (kyphoscoliosis), gallbladder disease, personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, kidney disease, liver disease (e.g., cirrhosis), adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison's disease), difficulty urinating (e.g., due to enlarged prostate), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive its side effects, especially slow/shallow breathing and drowsiness.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as slow/shallow breathing, irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, or diarrhea.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: naltrexone, pramlintide.
If you are currently using any of the medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting tincture of opium.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: cimetidine, MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine).
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slowed breathing, slow heartbeat, severe dizziness/drowsiness, fainting, muscle weakness.
Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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