US officials seek packaging fix for diarrhea-drug abuse

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US officials seek packaging fix for diarrhea-drug abuse
US officials seek packaging fix for diarrhea-drug abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. health regulators want makers of popular anti-diarrhea drugs to sell their tablets in smaller amounts to make them harder to abuse.

The request comes amid a spike in overdoses from large doses of the over-the-counter drugs, which contain a small amount of an opioid.

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is asking manufacturers to package their medications in smaller quantities, such as eight tablets per package. Currently, some generic versions are sold in boxes of up to 200 tablets.

The key ingredient in anti-diarrhea medications like Imodium is part of the opioid family, an addictive drug class that includes morphine and oxycodone. At low doses, the medicine helps control diarrhea. But recent statistics show a rise in abuse of massive doses to try and get high.

FILE – This Oct. 14, 2015 file photo shows the Food & Drug Administration campus in Silver Spring, Md. On Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, the FDA is asking manufacturers of anti-diarrhea drugs to package their medications in smaller quantities, since recent statistics show a rise in abuse of massive doses to try and get high from a small amount of an opioid in the medication. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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