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opium preparation (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking opium preparation (Opium Deodorized, Paregoric)?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, morphine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others). You should also not take opium preparation if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take an opium preparation, tell your doctor if you have:

  • bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea with fever;
  • diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics;
  • inflammatory bowel disease, toxic megacolon;
  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category C. Taking opium preparation during pregnancy may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Opium can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more like to have side effects of this medication.

Opium preparation may be habit-forming when used over a long period of time. This medication should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Opium preparation should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

How should I take opium preparation (Opium Deodorized, Paregoric)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Never take an opium preparation in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication is usually taken 1 to 4 times daily to treat diarrhea. Follow your doctor's instructions.

If you switch from using opium tincture to using paregoric, your dose will not be the same because each preparation contains a different amount of opium. Opium tincture is much stronger than paregoric and taking too much may cause serious harm.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Do not stop using opium preparation suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking this medication.

Store opium preparation at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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