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Is it possible to stop opioid withdrawal with over the counter medications?

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications cannot stop opioid withdrawal entirely, but certain OTC medications can relieve symptoms of withdrawal. Loperamide (Imodium) helps relieve diarrhea. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), can help ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or chills. Ondansetron can help minimize nausea. Bentyl can be used to relieve abdominal cramping. While these medicines can be helpful to a certain degree, MAT (either Methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)) is still the most effective treatment for preventing opioid withdrawal.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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