The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called upon Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to reduce the number of Imodium anti-diarrhea pills in each packaging box to reduce abuse.
The request which was made by the FDA is part of the regulatory body’s measures aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs. Some of the drugs in the market such as Imodium, when consumed in large doses, can cause euphoria just like opioids. This makes the drug an attractive go-to for people looking to get high. The FDA is encouraging J&J to reduce the number of pills in the packaging to curb this drug abuse.
The FDA is also determined to get the message across because the abuse of Imodium has been linked to serious health risks such as cardiac dysrhythmia and in some cases even death. About 48 cases of serious cardiac implications have been reported ever since the drug was approved in 1976. About 31 of the reported cases resulted in hospitalization and 10 of the cases were fatal. The U.S regulator revealed that it is working with drug manufacturers towards making changes that will curb the misuse of anti-diarrhea drugs such as Imodium.
“We’re requesting that packages contain a limited amount of loperamide appropriate for use for short-term diarrhea according to the product label. One example is a single retail package containing eight 2-milligram capsules in blister packaging,” stated Scott Gottlieb, the FDA Commissioner.
The FDA has revealed that some people have been taking more than the recommended dosage of the treatment to cope with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and also as a source of euphoria. Adult patients are only approved to consume about 8 mg of the anti-diarrhea treatment every day when they consume it over the counter. However, they are approved for 16mg maximum daily doses under prescription use.
Dr. Gottlieb stated that placing limitations on the packaging will go a long way into reducing overdose and misuse. A letter from the FDA has been sent to OTC manufacturers to encourage them to implement the packaging restrictions.
J&J stock closed the latest trading session on Tuesday at $142.43 after tanking by 0.87 percent from the previous close.