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What You Need To Know About Lomotil (Atropine and Diphenoxylate)

Prescribing, Dosing, And Potential Side Effects Of This AntiDiarrheal Drug


Updated May 31, 2014

What Is Lomotil?

Lomotil (atropine and diphenoxylate) is a mixture of two drugs that together form an antidiarrheal medication. It prevents spasms in the muscles of the gut and bladder by relaxing them, and treats diarrhea by slowing the function of the bowel.

How Is Lomotil Taken?

Lomotil comes in the forms of tablet and oral liquid. The liquid form should be measured carefully to ensure the correct dosage. Lomotil should be taken with a glass of water.

Why Is Lomotil Prescribed?

Lomotil may be prescribed for diarrhea caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other conditions.

What Do I Do If I Miss A Dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose should be taken soon, just take that dose. Don't double up, or take more than one dose at a time.

Who Should Not Take Lomotil?

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following conditions:

  • Asthma, chronic lung disease, or allergies.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Down's syndrome.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Heart disease.
  • Hiatal hernia or reflux disease.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet.
  • Prostate enlargement - BPH.
  • Severe ulcerative colitis when bowel movements have stopped.
  • Thyroid problems.

What Are The Side Effects?

Serious side effects of Lomotil include dizziness or drowsiness. Most side effects are not common but can can include blurred vision, dryness of skin and mouth, headache, and fever. See the Lomotil side effects page for a complete list

What Medications Could Lomotil Interact With?

Lomotil may interact with the following medications:

  • Antidepressants (Haldol, Elavil).
  • Antihistamines (Benadryl).
  • Anxiety medicines.
  • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (Nardil, Parnate).
  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Pain relievers.
  • Sedatives (Ambien, Dalmane, Restoril).

Are There Any Food Interactions?

Lomotil is not known to interact with any foods. People taking Lomotil should avoid alcoholic drinks as the two together could have an increased sedative effect. Take care to avoid alcohol from unexpected sources, such as over the counter cough suppressants or cold products (Nyquil, for example).

Is Lomotil Safe During Pregnancy?

The FDA has classified Lomotil as a type C drug. The effect that Lomotil has on an unborn child is unknown. Lomotil should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed. Notify the prescribing doctor if you become pregnant while taking Lomotil. It is not known if Lomotil passes into breast milk.

How Long Can Lomotil Be Taken Safely?

Under the supervision of a physician, Lomotil can be used long-term, but dependency could be an issue.

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