Side Effects of Lomotil (Lonox, Vi-Atro)

This Drug Might Be Used To Treat Diarrhea From IBS Or Other Conditions

Lomotil - Atropine Sulfate 0.025 MG / Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride 2.5 MG Oral Tablet
Lomotil is an anti-diarrheal medication that might be used in the instance of certain digestive conditions.. Image © Pillbox, National Library of Medicine

What Is Lomotil?

Lomotil (diphenoxylate hydrochloride; atropine sulfate) is a drug that slows down or stops diarrhea by slowing the contractions of the large intestine. Lomotil may be prescribed by a physician for the diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive diseases or conditions. Lomotil is a controlled substance and is chemically related to a narcotic.

Warnings and Precautions When Using Lomotil

Lomotil should not be used to treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea or that resulting from infectious bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, or Shigella.

Diarrhea from these causes should be ruled out before Lomotil is prescribed. The reason is that because with diarrhea caused by a bacteria, the bacteria needs to leave the body. A drug like Lomotil will prevent diarrhea, and prolong the time the bacteria spends in the body.

Lomotil should also not be used by anyone who has liver disease or ulcerative colitis (due to a risk of a rare but serious condition called toxic megacolon).

Taking Lomotil can increase the effects of barbiturates, tranquilizers, or alcohol, and  can cause side effects such as sedation. Tell your doctor if you are taking any other drugs while taking Lomotil, and you shouldn't drink alcohol while taking it. It should also not be taken at doses higher than what is prescribed because of the risk of addiction to diphenoxylate hydrochloride. Taking Lomotil as prescribed to treat diarrhea, however, will not result in addiction.

 

Recommended Dosage of Lomotil

It is very easy to become confused about dosage, especially when using the liquid formulation. That's why it is important to only use the dropper that comes with the medication, especially when giving Lomotil to children.

Adults. A typical dose is two 2.5 mg tablets four times a day (for 20 mg a day) or 10 ml four times a day of the liquid formulation.

When diarrhea slows down, which generally happens in about 48 hours, less Lomotil can be taken. At that point, two 2.5 mg tablets or 10 ml liquid might be enough to prevent the diarrhea from coming back.

Children: Don't give Lomotil to children under the age of 2. For older children, use the liquid, and only use this drug under the supervision of a physician. The dosage will vary by weight, so it's important that the child's weight be known and that a physician prescribe the correct amount. A dosing schedule is available in the Lomotil Prescribing Information, which is provided for reference only. Children with Down syndrome may be more prone to experience side effects as a result of the atropine component of Lomotil.

Possible Side Effects of Lomotil

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • difficult urination
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of skin and mouth
  • fever
  • headache
  • depression
  • numbness of hands or feet
  • skin rash or itching
  • swelling of the gums

Always Notify Doctor

Call your doctor if any of the following side effects are severe and occur suddenly, since they may be signs of a more severe and dangerous problem with your bowels.

Symptoms of an Overdose of Lomotil

  • blurred vision (continuing) or changes in near vision
  • drowsiness (severe)
  • dryness of mouth, nose, and throat (severe)
  • fast heartbeat
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing (severe)
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
  • unusual warmth, dryness, and flushing of the skin

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor. This information is meant only as a guideline. Always consult a physician or pharmacist for complete information about prescription medications.

Sources:

Physicians' Desk Reference. "Lomotil." PDR Network, LLC 2009.

Pfizer, Inc. "Prescribing Information - Lomotil." Pfizer.com. Oct 2005.

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