Skip Navigation

Search Knowledgebase

opium preparation

Pronunciation: OH pee um

Brand: Opium Deodorized, Paregoric

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

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine, if you are having an asthma attack, or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

Before you take an opium preparation, tell your doctor if you have bloody diarrhea, diarrhea with fever, diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics, inflammatory bowel disease, toxic megacolon, asthma or other breathing disorder, liver or kidney disease, a seizure disorder, enlarged prostate, urination problems, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Multum noalcohol

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. 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.

Multum dizzy

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Many drugs can interact with opium preparation. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

Never take this medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

What is opium preparation?

Opium is a narcotic 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" or "paregoric") is used to treat diarrhea. Opium preparation is sometimes given with other anti-diarrhea medication such as kaolin and pectic (Kaopectate).

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

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

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, morphine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others). You should also not take opium preparation if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take an opium preparation, tell your doctor if you have:

  • bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea with fever;
  • diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics;
  • inflammatory bowel disease, toxic megacolon;
  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • enlarged prostate or urination problems; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category C. Taking opium preparation during pregnancy may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

Opium can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more like to have side effects of this medication.

Multum habit

Opium preparation may be habit-forming when used over a long period of time. This medication should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Opium preparation should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

How should I take opium preparation?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Never take an opium preparation in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication is usually taken 1 to 4 times daily to treat diarrhea. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Multum donot

If you switch from using opium tincture to using paregoric, your dose will not be the same because each preparation contains a different amount of opium. Opium tincture is much stronger than paregoric and taking too much may cause serious harm.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Multum donot

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

Multum rt

Store opium preparation at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of opium could be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, feeling restless or nervous, confusion, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, fainting, or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while taking opium preparation?

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

Multum noalcohol

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. 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.

Multum dizzy

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

What are the possible side effects of opium preparation?

Multum emt

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.

Multum emt

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe constipation, bloating, stomach cramps;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • weak or shallow breathing; or
  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • constipation;
  • dizziness, drowsiness, feeling tired or restless;
  • increased sweating; or
  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect opium preparation?

Multum dizzy

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you regularly use cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Also tell your doctor if you are using:

  • atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine), belladonna (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
  • bronchodilators such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • glycopyrrolate (Robinul);
  • mepenzolate (Cantil);
  • metoclopramide (Reglan);
  • naloxone (Narcan), naltrexone (ReVia);
  • bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
  • irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine);
  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or
  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with opium preparation. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

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.

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 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision date: 12/15/2010.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.