Health Guide

Paregoric (By mouth)

Paregoric (par-e-GOR-ik)

Treats severe diarrhea.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to morphine, or if you have seizures related to epilepsy, tetanus (lockjaw), or strychnine poisoning. Do not use this medicine if you are breast feeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Lying down after you take this medicine may help ease some of the side effects such as dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

If a dose is missed:

  • 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.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using phenothiazines (such as Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Serentil®, Tacaryl®, Thorazine®, Trilafon®), narcotic pain medications (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, propoxyphene, Darvocet®, Percocet®, Vicodin®), or medications that help you sleep (such as temazepam, triazolam, Halcion®, Restoril®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have a stomach disorder, thyroid disorder, liver disease, kidney disease, Addison's disease, problems with your bladder, or an enlarged prostate. Tell your doctor if you have ever had seizures, a head injury, or swelling of your brain.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • 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.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Pale, cold, or clammy skin and blue lips.
  • Severe confusion, drowsiness, or muscle weakness.
  • Shallow breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Slow or uneven heartbeats.

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

  • Anxiety, depression, restlessness.
  • Constipation.
  • Feelings of extreme happiness.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Mild nausea, vomiting.
  • Sleepiness.

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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