What is this medication?

OPIUM TINCTURE (OH-pee-uhm) belongs to the same class of medicines as the narcotic pain relievers. However, this medicine is used to decrease the number and frequency of bowel movements. It is used to treat diarrhea.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:

How should I use this medication?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. You may also use the marked dropper provided with the medicine. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your health care provider if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to this drug. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the drug for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this drug for a long time.

There are different types of narcotic drugs (opioids) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all drugs you use. He or she will tell you how much drug to take. Do not take more drug than directed. Get emergency help right away if you have problems breathing.

Do not suddenly stop taking your drug because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the drug. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a nonmedical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain drug. Your health care provider will tell you how much drug to take. If your health care provider wants you to stop the drug, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

Talk to your health care provider about naloxone and how to get it. Naloxone is an emergency drug used for an opioid overdose. An overdose can happen if you take too much opioid. It can also happen if an opioid is taken with some other drugs or substances, like alcohol. Know the symptoms of an overdose, like trouble breathing, unusually tired or sleepy, or not being able to respond or wake up. Make sure to tell caregivers and close contacts where it is stored. Make sure they know how to use it. After naloxone is given, you must get emergency help right away. Naloxone is a temporary treatment. Repeat doses may be needed.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand up or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this drug. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This drug will cause constipation. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your health care provider.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your health care provider if the problem does not go away or is severe.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law. Contact a poison control center immediately and seek emergency medical attention should overdose occur.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep tightly closed. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2022 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy