Medicine
Fact-checked

At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Paregoric?

Paregoric is a camphorated tincture of opium, historically used to alleviate pain and diarrhea. Its potent formula, derived from the opium poppy, has made it a controlled substance, requiring careful medical supervision. Intriguingly, its use dates back centuries, revealing a complex tapestry of medical history. How has its role evolved in modern medicine? Join us as we uncover its journey.
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

Paregoric is a drug commonly prescribed to treat diarrhea. It is an opiate that works by decreasing the number of contractions in the digestive system. Paregoric may also be prescribed as a cough suppressant. Due to its potentially addictive nature, paregoric is carefully regulated; patients are particularly cautioned to take only the dosage prescribed and are typically not administered the drug for long periods of time.

The drug helps to stop diarrhea by slowing activity in the digestive system. This includes lowering the frequency of contractions in the stomach and intestinal muscles. When treating a cough, paregoric works as an expectorant. Its primary ingredient is powdered opium.

Paregoric is used to decrease the number of contractions in the digestive system.
Paregoric is used to decrease the number of contractions in the digestive system.

Paregoric comes in liquid form and is taken orally. It is meant to be taken mixed with water. Paregoric is typically prescribed to be taken after a loose bowl movement. The usual dosage is one to four times daily. It is risky to take more than six doses of the drug in a day.

Patient reaction to paregoric can vary over time. It is possible to develop a tolerance of the drug, which means that higher doses may be needed in order for the drug to continue to work in the same way. A patient should never take more paregoric than prescribed without consulting a doctor first. Other patients may become addicted to paregoric if they are taking the drug in high doses or for a long time. Abruptly stopping paregoric treatment may cause symptoms of withdrawal, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.

Paregoric is commonly prescribed to treat diarrhea.
Paregoric is commonly prescribed to treat diarrhea.

Previous conditions such as kidney, liver, or lung disease should be reported to a doctor before taking paregoric. Any history of drug abuse or alcoholism must also be disclosed. This information may affect the prescribed dosage amount. The doctor may also decide that the patient is at high risk for addiction or another adverse reaction to the drug.

The most common side effect of paregoric is constipation. Patients may also experience dizziness or light-headedness, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms should only be reported to a doctor if they are severe or do not go away.

Signs of an allergic reaction to paregoric include chest tightness and itching.
Signs of an allergic reaction to paregoric include chest tightness and itching.

More severe side effects of paregoric include difficulty breathing, changes in vision, fainting, or a faster or slower heartbeat. Some patients may also experience tremors and confusion or have difficulty urinating. Signs of an allergic reaction, such as a tight chest, itching, swelling, or hives are also serious. All of these symptoms should receive immediate medical attention.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Paregoric is used to decrease the number of contractions in the digestive system.
      By: Balint Radu
      Paregoric is used to decrease the number of contractions in the digestive system.
    • Paregoric is commonly prescribed to treat diarrhea.
      By: Africa Studio
      Paregoric is commonly prescribed to treat diarrhea.
    • Signs of an allergic reaction to paregoric include chest tightness and itching.
      By: Aleksandar Todorovic
      Signs of an allergic reaction to paregoric include chest tightness and itching.
    • Drowsiness is one side effect of paregoric.
      By: photopitu
      Drowsiness is one side effect of paregoric.
    • Paregoric can be used to treat coughs.
      By: JPC-PROD
      Paregoric can be used to treat coughs.
    • Severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
      By: koszivu
      Severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration.