Health Guide

Diphenoxylate/atropine (By mouth)

Atropine Sulfate (AT-roe-peen SUL-fate), Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride (dye-fen-OX-i-late hye-droe-KLOR-ide)

Treats diarrhea.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to atropine or diphenoxylate, or if you have jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) or diarrhea caused by antibiotics or an infection, including sepsis.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Drink plenty of caffeine-free, clear liquids including ginger ale, tea, water, gelatin, or broth during the first 24 hours of treatment with this medicine.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how difenoxin/atropine works. Tell your doctor if you are using an MAO inhibitor.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, stomach or bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis), or Down syndrome.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Respiratory depression (severe breathing problem)
    • Serious stomach or bowel problems (including toxic megacolon)
    • Liver problems
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Confusion, drowsiness, anxiety, changes in mood or behavior, shaky hands, problems with speech
  • Extreme dizziness or weakness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, cold, clammy skin
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Severe constipation with bloating, red or black stools

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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