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Paregoric

Generic Name: opium preparation (OH pee um PREP a RAY tion)
Brand Name: Opium Deodorized, Paregoric

What is Paregoric (opium preparation)?

Opium preparation is an opioid. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

Opium is derived from the seed pod of a poppy plant. It works by increasing smooth muscle tone and decreasing fluid secretions in the intestines. This slows the movement of bowel matter through the intestines.

Opium preparation (sometimes called "opium tincture") is used to treat diarrhea.

Opium preparation may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Paregoric (opium preparation)?

Do not use this medicine if the safety seal on the cap is broken or missing.

You should not use opium preparation if you are allergic to morphine, or if you have a seizure disorder. Opium preparation should not be given to treat diarrhea that is caused by poisoning (until the toxin is no longer in the digestive tract).

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

Do not use this medicine if the safety seal on the cap is broken or missing.

You should not use opium preparation if you are allergic to morphine, or if you have:

  • a seizure disorder; or

  • diarrhea that is caused by poisoning (until the toxin is no longer in the digestive tract).

To make sure opium preparation is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • a history of stomach problems;

  • a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • enlarged prostate, urination problems; or

  • problems with your gallbladder, adrenal gland, or thyroid.

Opium preparation is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.

Opium preparation may be habit-forming when used over a long period of time. Never share opium preparation with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away opium preparation is against the law.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether opium preparation will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Opium preparation can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Paregoric (opium preparation)?

This medication is usually taken 1 to 4 times daily to treat diarrhea. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Opium preparation can slow or stop your breathing. Never use opium preparation in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.

Each opium preparation contains a different amount of opium. If you switch from using one opium preparation to using another, your dose will not be the same. Some opium preparations are much stronger than others, and taking too much opium may cause serious harm.

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An opium preparation overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Paregoric (opium preparation)?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with opium preparation. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.

Avoid using any other anti-diarrhea medications that your doctor has not prescribed.

Opium preparation may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

Paregoric (opium preparation) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using opium preparation and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • confusion; or

  • feelings of extreme happiness or sadness.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • constipation;

  • dizziness, drowsiness; or

  • itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Paregoric (opium preparation)?

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking opium preparation with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with opium preparation, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

More about Paregoric (opium)

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about opium preparation.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2014-01-14, 4:41:17 PM.

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