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Opium Preparations (Systemic)
Other commonly used names are camphorated opium tincture; laudanum.
Opium preparations are used along with other measures to treat severe diarrhea. These medicines belong to the group of medicines called narcotics. If too much of a narcotic is taken, it may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects when you stop taking the medicine.
Opium preparations are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For opium preparations, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to morphine, codeine, or papaverine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Opium preparations have not been studied in pregnant women. However, morphine (contained in these medicines) has caused birth defects in animals when given in very large doses.
Regular use of opium preparations during pregnancy may cause the fetus to become dependent on the medicine. This may lead to withdrawal side effects in the newborn baby. Also, these medicines may cause breathing problems in the newborn baby, especially if they are taken just before delivery.
Breast-feeding- Opium preparations have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children- Breathing problems may be especially likely to occur in children up to 2 years of age, who are usually more sensitive than adults to the effects of opium preparations.
Older adults- Breathing problems may be especially likely to occur in elderly patients, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of opium preparations.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking an opium preparation, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of opium preparations. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
This medicine is to be taken by mouth even if it comes in a dropper bottle. The amount you should take is to be measured with the special dropper provided with your prescription and diluted with water just before you take each dose. This will cause the medicine to turn milky in color, but it will still work.
If your prescription does not come in a dropper bottle and the directions on the bottle say to take it by the teaspoonful, it is not necessary to dilute it before using.
If this medicine upsets your stomach, your doctor may want you to take it with food.
Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor . Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. This is especially important for young children and for elderly patients, who are especially sensitive to the effects of opium preparations. If too much is taken, this medicine may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence) or lead to problems because of an overdose.
The dose of these medicines will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses .
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Check with your doctor if your diarrhea does not stop after 1 or 2 days or if you develop a fever .
This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or other narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, and check with your doctor before taking any of the medicines listed above, while you are taking this medicine .
This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may be especially likely to occur when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem. If you feel very dizzy, lightheaded, or faint after taking this medicine, lying down for a while may help.
If you have been taking this medicine regularly for several weeks or more, do not stop using it without first checking with your doctor . Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are using before stopping completely, to lessen the chance of withdrawal side effects.
If you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose, get emergency help at once . Taking an overdose of this medicine or taking alcohol or other CNS depressants with this medicine may lead to unconsciousness and possibly death. Signs of overdose include convulsions (seizures), confusion, severe nervousness or restlessness, severe dizziness, severe drowsiness, slow or irregular breathing, and severe weakness.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT