February 24, 2017
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Paregoric Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Opium Deodorized, Paregoric

Generic Name: opium preparation (Pronunciation: OH pee um)

What is opium preparation (Paregoric)?

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 are the possible side effects of opium preparation (Paregoric)?

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.

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.

Read the Paregoric (anhydrous morphine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

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

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.

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.

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.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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