Generic Name: atropine/diphenoxylate (AT-row-peen/dye-fen-OX-i-late)
Brand Name: Examples include Lomotil and Lonox
Atropine/ diphenoxylate is used for:
Treating diarrhea. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Atropine/diphenoxylate is an antidiarrheal and anticholinergic combination. It works by decreasing the motion of muscles in the intestines and prolonging the time it takes to move the contents through the body.
Do NOT use atropine/ diphenoxylate if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in atropine/diphenoxylate
- you have diarrhea caused by certain conditions (eg, pseudomembranous colitis, enterotoxin-producing bacteria, food poisoning)
- you have jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- you have a blockage of the stomach or bowel, angle-closure glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, urinary blockage, excess acid in the stomach or throat, esophagus problems (eg, difficulty swallowing, inflammation), bowel muscle weakness, or heart problems with severe bleeding
- you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using atropine/ diphenoxylate:
Some medical conditions may interact with atropine/diphenoxylate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin) or megacolon
- if you have abnormal blood levels of electrolytes (eg, potassium, sodium), ulcerative colitis, liver or kidney problems, Down syndrome, numbness due to nerve damage, prostate problems (enlarged prostate), a blockage of the bladder, trouble urinating, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat), hiatal hernia, asthma, open-angle glaucoma, or risk factors for glaucoma
- if you are dehydrated
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with atropine/diphenoxylate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine), medicine for Parkinson disease (eg, benztropine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of atropine/diphenoxylate's side effects
- Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by atropine/diphenoxylate
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine) because the risk of serious side effects, including severe high blood pressure, may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if atropine/diphenoxylate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use atropine/ diphenoxylate:
Use atropine/diphenoxylate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take atropine/diphenoxylate by mouth with or without food.
- If you miss a dose of atropine/diphenoxylate and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your health care provider. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use atropine/diphenoxylate.
Important safety information:
- Atropine/diphenoxylate may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use atropine/diphenoxylate with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using atropine/diphenoxylate; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. This could increase the risk of serious side effects.
- If your symptoms do not get better within 10 days (2 days for children) or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
- Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
- Report any symptoms of fluid or electrolyte loss to your doctor: dry mouth; thirst; weakness; lethargy; drowsiness; restlessness; muscle pain or cramps; muscle weakness; low blood pressure; infrequent urination; rapid heartbeat; stomach disorders such as nausea and vomiting.
- Atropine/diphenoxylate may make your eyes more sensitive to sunlight. It may help to wear sunglasses.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take atropine/diphenoxylate before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Use atropine/diphenoxylate with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitement, agitation, or drowsiness.
- Atropine/diphenoxylate should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 13 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Caution is advised when using atropine/diphenoxylate in CHILDREN 13 years of age and older; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using atropine/diphenoxylate while you are pregnant. Atropine/diphenoxylate is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use atropine/diphenoxylate, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking atropine/diphenoxylate. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
Possible side effects of atropine/ diphenoxylate:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Blurred vision; constipation; decreased sweating; difficulty sleeping; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, nose, or skin; headache; loss of appetite; loss of taste; nausea; nervousness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abdominal bloating or swelling; agitation; changes in heartbeat; confusion; continued or severe diarrhea; delirium; difficulty focusing your eyes; difficulty urinating; exaggerated sense of well-being; excitement; fast/irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; numbness of the hands or feet; severely enlarged pupils; severe or prolonged restlessness; speech disturbance; unusual weakness; vomiting.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; difficulty breathing; dilated or constricted pupils; disorientation; fever; flushing; hallucinations; hyperactivity; muscle weakness; restlessness; seizures; severe dizziness; unusual eye movements; urinary retention; vomiting.Proper storage of atropine/diphenoxylate:
Store atropine/diphenoxylate at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep atropine/diphenoxylate out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about atropine/diphenoxylate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Atropine/diphenoxylate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take atropine/diphenoxylate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about atropine/diphenoxylate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to atropine/diphenoxylate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using atropine/diphenoxylate.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about atropine/diphenoxylate
- Atropine/diphenoxylate solution
- Atropine and diphenoxylate
- Diphenoxylate and atropine (Advanced Reading)
- Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride (AHFS Monograph)
- Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride/Atropine Sulfate (Wolters Kluwer)