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  • Can You Get High On Large Doses Of Imodium?

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    Can You Get High On Large Doses Of Imodium?

    Yes. Imodium is an opioid agonist. That means it binds to opioid receptors in your body, just like heroin, oxycodone, and other opioids that make people feel relaxed and happy, or “high.”

    Imodium is the brand name for an antidiarrheal drug called loperamide. It comes in two versions: an over-the-counter version that treats acute diarrhea, and a prescription version that treats acute diarrhea as well as ongoing diarrhea from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  

    Imodium High

    Unlike most opioids, Imodium has trouble crossing the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a network of blood vessels and tissue that prevents bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances from entering your brain. 

    At low doses, Imodium can’t cross the blood-brain barrier, which means it won’t get you high. However, it can get you high at extremely large doses. 

    Taking Large Doses To Get High

    Generally, doctors recommend that patients take no more than 8 milligrams of over-the-counter Imodium or 16 milligrams of prescription Imodium per day. To get high, people take much larger doses, sometimes up to 500 milligrams per day. 

    Using Imodium To Ease Opioid Withdrawal

    In addition to getting you high, large amounts of Imodium can also ease withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction. That’s why some people call Imodium “the poor man’s methadone.” 

    Methadone is a medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

    As opioid addiction rates rise, many people are turning to Imodium as a cheap, accessible way to get high or ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. 

    Risks Of Getting High On Imodium

    Like other forms of drug abuse, taking more than the recommended dose of Imodium poses serious dangers, including increased side effects, overdose, and addiction 

    Increased Side Effects

    When you take very high doses of Imodium, you’re much more likely to experience the drug’s common side effects, which include:

    • constipation 
    • drowsiness
    • dizziness
    • headache
    • dry mouth
    • nausea and vomiting

    You may also experience the drug’s rarer, more serious side effects, such as:

    • fever
    • stomach pain
    • bloody stools
    • rash, hives, or itching
    • red, peeling, or blistering skin
    • wheezing
    • trouble breathing

    If you or someone you know experiences these more serious side effects, seek medical help right away.


    Like other opioids, Imodium slows down your central nervous system. When you take more than the recommended dose, your central nervous system may slow to the point of overdose. 

    The most common symptoms of an Imodium overdose include:

    • confusion
    • nausea
    • trouble urinating
    • shortness of breath
    • slow, shallow breathing
    • arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
    • fainting
    • unresponsiveness 

    If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, call 911 right away. Also, administer naloxone if you have it. Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. You can find it at most pharmacies without a prescription.  

    When left untreated, an Imodium overdose can cause health problems such as:

    • urinary retention
    • intestinal dysfunction
    • kidney damage
    • life-threatening heart problems, including cardiac arrest


    If you regularly abuse Imodium, you may become addicted to it. Imodium addiction is a serious disease that makes you feel unable to stop using the drug. Other symptoms may include:

    • tolerance (needing increasingly higher doses of Imodium to feel the desired effects)
    • physical dependence (experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and muscle aches, when you don’t use Imodium)
    • loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
    • loss of motivation
    • avoidance of family and friends

    Most people who abuse and become addicted to Imodium are already addicted to other opioids. Fortunately, all types of opioid addiction are treatable. 

    Imodium Abuse & Addiction Treatment Options

    If you or someone you love struggles with Imodium or other opioids, seek help at a substance abuse treatment program.

    Some of these programs are inpatient, meaning you live at the treatment center, while others are outpatient, meaning you live at home and regularly visit the treatment center.

    Both inpatient and outpatient programs offer a variety of evidence-based treatments, including:

    Medical Detox

    During medical detox, doctors will closely monitor your health as you slowly taper off Imodium. They may also treat certain withdrawal symptoms with medications, such as anti-nausea medications. 

    Behavioral Therapy

    In behavioral therapy, a mental health professional will teach you how to cope with opioid cravings. Some of the most common coping skills include journaling, meditating, and spending time with supportive loved ones.

    Your therapist can also help you address any underlying mental health concerns that may have contributed to your drug abuse in the first place. 

    Support Groups

    In a support group, you can discuss your experiences with other people recovering from addiction. You can also learn helpful coping tips from people who have been in recovery longer than you. 

    To learn more about Imodium addiction treatment, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. Our compassionate healthcare providers offer personalized, comprehensive care to help you or your loved one stay drug-free. 

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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