• Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Diphenoxylate
Drug Class: Diphenoxylate > Fully Synthetic Opioid > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.


Diphenoxylate is an opioid typically prescribed to treat diarrhea in adults. Administration Diphenoxylate is available in a table and liquid form, usually to be taken as needed up to four times a day. The liquid form comes in a container equipped with a special dropper to ensure proper dosage. Diarrhea should improve within 48 hours of diphenoxylate treatment.

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Diphenoxylate slows intestinal contractions and peristalsis. This causes intestinal contents to move more slowly through the digestive tract, giving your bowels enough time to absorb excess fluids that result in diarrhea. Drink clear liquids and follow electrolyte replacement therapy to restore fluids lost through diarrhea. More About How Diphenoxylate Works


Before taking Lomotil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to diphenoxylate or atropine. This drug may contain inactive ingredients that might result in drug sensitivities or allergic reactions. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, diarrhea or other digestive disorders.

Before taking diphenoxylate, tell your doctor if you have liver problems resulting in jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes. Notify your physician or pharmacist if you have bloody diarrhea, diarrhea with a fever, mucus in your stool, abdominal cramps, swelling or pain, or if your diarrhea was caused by using antibiotics.

Fluid replacement and electrolyte therapy should accompany diphenoxylate hydrochloride usage, especially when severe dehydration or electrolyte imbalance is present. Diphenoxylate may induce slowed peristalsis resulting in intestinal fluid retention in a way that aggravates dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Before having surgery and dental surgery, notify your doctor or dentist about your diphenoxylate use.

This medicine can make you drowsy. Do not operate heavy or dangerous machinery until you know how diphenoxylate affects you.

Alcohol consumption can worsen the side effects of diphenoxylate. Speak with your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while on diphenoxylate therapy.

Diphenoxylate can be habit forming.

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Side effects

Diphenoxylate can cause moderate to severe side effects. Contact your physician if moderate side effects become more severe or do not go away. Moderate side effects include:

  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Nausea and Vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Restlessness and Tiredness.
  • Confusion.
  • Mood Changes.
  • Dry Skin.

Stop using diphenoxylate and contact your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects associated with this drug. Serious side effects include:

  • Stomach Pain, Possibly Spreading to the Back.
  • Rapid Heart Rate.
  • Shortness of Breath.
  • Hives and Itching.
  • Bloating.
  • Ongoing Diarrhea or Bloody Diarrhea.
  • Numbness in Hands or Feet.
  • Depressed Mood.
  • Confusion, Unusual Thoughts or Behaviors.

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Overdose may result in severe respiratory problems, including depressed breathing, coma, brain damage and even death.

Diphenoxylate hydrochloride is not recommended for children under the age of two years old. Use special care when using diphenoxylate in young children, as this group may be predisposed to delayed toxicity due to a great variability of response in younger patients.

Notify your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking diphenoxylate to weigh the benefits of this drug against any possible damage to the unborn baby. Physiochemical characteristics of diphenoxylates are found in breast milk; do not take this drug while nursing an infant. Sudden cessation

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Keep diphenoxylate in the container it came in, away from excess heat and moisture. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. Never share diphenoxylate with others and properly dispose of all unused doses.

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Drug Interactions

Do not take diphenoxylate if you have a known hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug, obstructive jaundice or diarrhea associated with pseudomembranous enterocolitis or enterotoxin-producing bacteria.

Drugs known to interact with diphenoxylate include barbiturates, tranquilizers and alcohol. Diphenoxylate may interact with MAO inhibitors, a class of anti-depressant drugs. Tell your doctor if you have taken MAO inhibitors like Marplan, Nardil, Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar or Parnate in the previous two weeks.

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If you should miss a dose of diphenoxylate, take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to take another dose, just skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take two pills in an effort to catch up.

Seek immediate medical care if you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of diphenoxylate. The initial signs of diphenoxylate are usually drying of the skin and mucus membranes, followed by restlessness and tachycardia. Overdose can have serious and potentially lethal consequences. Respiratory distress caused by diphenoxylate can occur as late as 30 hours after overdose and may recur despite prompt medical treatment.

Symptoms of overdose include:

  • Dryness of the Skin, Nose and Mouth.
  • Changes in Pupil Size.
  • Uncontrollable Eye Movements.
  • Restlessness.
  • Flushing.
  • Fever.
  • Excessive Tiredness and Depressed Reflexes.
  • Rapid Heart Beat.
  • Difficulty Breathing.
  • Loss of Consciousness.

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When you stop using diphenoxylate, you will probably experience the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms common to opioids. Everyone experiences withdrawal differently, feeling some symptoms more acutely than others. You may have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Strong Cravings.
  • Nausea, Cramps, Vomiting, Diarrhea.
  • Agitation, Anxiety, Irritation, Insomnia
  • Goosebumps, Sweating, Chills.
  • Muscle Aches, Shakes, Yawning.
  • Dilated Pupils, Runny Nose.


When taken in therapeutic doses for short amounts of time to treat acute diarrhea, diphenoxylate does not cause dependence. Diphenoxylate can cause feelings of euphoria and other psychoactive effects in a way that increases dependence, especially among those who have taken high doses or have been on diphenoxylate for a long time. Dependency/Addiction Read More About Diphenoxylate Abuse


Rapid detox programs effectively reduce dependence and addiction to opioids including diphenoxylate. During rapid detox, you are sedated and anesthetized while medical professionals cleanse diphenoxylate from your body. You awaken in a detoxified state, unaware of any unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Learn More About Diphenoxylate Detoxification Programs

Miscellaneous information

Lomotil is a popular anti-diarrheal and pain reliever made from diphenoxylate and atropine. Diphenoxylate is chemically related to some narcotics, which makes it habit forming. To dissuade misuse, pharmacologists add atropine. If Lomotil is taken in large doses, atropine causes unpleasant effects.

Miscellaneous Information About Diphenoxylate